SBD/Issue 150/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

MLB Teams With Walt Disney For "G-Force" All-Star Promotion

MLB has teamed with Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer Films to promote the July 24 release of the 3D movie “G-Force” during the July 14 All-Star Game at Busch Stadium. If a grand slam is hit during the All-Star Game, the first million people registering on Disney.com beginning yesterday will win a free ticket to see the film on its first day of release. The movie is the first to promote its debut during the All-Star Game since Disney’s “Angels In The Outfield” in ’94. “G-Force” also will serve as the exclusive sponsor of in-ballpark All-Star balloting. In addition, 29 MLB teams will host “Walt Disney Pictures ‘G-Force’ Days,” which will include “G-Force” trading card giveaways and movie ticket/prize pack giveaways (MLB). MLB Senior VP/Corporate Sales & Marketing John Brody said that Disney will have “G-Force” branding on “ballot boxes, banners and announcements in the stadium, the ‘G-Force’ logo on the ballots, full-panel movie ads showing two 'G-Force' characters and half-panel ads with info on the sweepstakes.” Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures President of Marketing Jim Gallagher said the studio also is “working with ESPN to develop a program that will ramp up and culminate with their coverage of All Star weekend and the Home Run Derby” (MEDIAPOST.com, 4/22).

LEARNING FROM THE PAST: AD AGE’s Rich Thomaselli noted the promotion “comes five years after MLB’s disastrous agreement with Sony Pictures to put the logo for ‘Spider-Man 2’ on all the bases at every ballpark the weekend before the movie opened in June 2004.” Within days of the "Spider-Man" announcement, “fans and purists denounced the plan to put the ads on the bases, and the promo was killed.” Brody said, “We have tremendous respect for the game and we do not want to take away from that. The Spider-Man project had a lot of great ideas; this project has great ideas but is different from that.” Brody said when discussions began with Walt Disney Pictures, the “idea of the movie and the All-Star Game just kind of found each other. It met the necessities for us -- it’s a family film, and we believe we are a family entertainment property -- and as we went along, the different layers just kept making sense” (ADAGE.com, 4/22).

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