SBD/Issue 204/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

All-Star Game Sponsors Increasing Charitable Contributions

Pepsi Helped Pay For Free
All-Star Concert Saturday
State Farm, Bank of America, Pepsi and other sponsors “have increased the money they plan to give to charities” at this year’s MLB All-Star Game, according to Ken Belson of the N.Y. TIMES. BofA for each hit in tomorrow's game “will donate $5,000 to Feeding America, which runs a national network of food banks.” State Farm “expects to exceed the $370,000 it gave to the Boys and Girls Clubs at the Home Run Derby it sponsored last year.” Also, Pepsi “helped pay for a free concert by Sheryl Crow on Saturday that raised money for Stand Up to Cancer.” Belson writes the strategy is “keeping with the times,” as the last thing MLB or sponsors want is to "appear insensitive to the economic challenges that many fans face." The companies also “want to deflect criticism of corporate spending on sports.” The All-Star Game activities are “part of broader, year-round effort not just to help charities, but also improve” bottom lines. About 200,000 people “have visited the league’s Web site to take part in a program that gives fans tickets and merchandise based on how often they stay at Holiday Inn hotels” Meanwhile, GM said that for every dollar it spent on sponsorship of baseball games, it “generated about $5 in sales.” BofA said that for every dollar it spent at sporting events, it “generated $3 in net income.” BofA Senior VP & Sports Sponsorship Exec Ray Bednar: “I can completely understand the cynicism and understand the questions about philanthropy and investments in sports. But we make money at this, and that’s the most important message to get out”  (N.Y. TIMES, 7/13). New Era Saturday outside of Busch Stadium "gave away caps and T-shirts to 200 kids" who took part in a whiffle ball event sponsored by the company (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 7/12).

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