SBD/July 11, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sony Pictures To Promote Upcoming "Moneyball" Release During All-Star Game

Sony Pictures is using the MLB All-Star Game tomorrow as the launch for its baseball-themed movie "Moneyball." The film, which stars Brad Pitt, is one of two movies from Sony which will have advertising in the Fox telecast. "Friends With Benefits," opening July 22, is the other. MLB Senior VP/Corporate Sales & Sponsorship Lou Koskovolis said the Fox buy is part of a comprehensive agreement to market "Moneyball" that includes the ability to use MLB intellectual properties in the film, and limited licensing rights to market product combining marks from "Moneyball" and MLB. The film is scheduled to open Sept. 23, which is the last week of the MLB season, so expect a marketing barrage around that date on MLB broadcasts, including behind-the-plate signage. Based on the book by Michael Lewis, "Moneyball" chronicles A's GM Billy Beane's success in building a winning team with a minimal payroll.

THE RISE OF THE PHOENIX: The Phoenix market is not likely to be confused with some baseball hotbeds like N.Y., St. Louis and S.F., all of which have hosted the All-Star Game in recent years. Nonetheless, Koskovolis said he was happy with the level of sponsor activation, even tweaking some MLB corporate patrons for starting too late. "It isn't easy to get a Hall of Famer to show up for a sponsor function on less than a week's notice," he laughed, "but overall, we've been pleasantly surprised by the level of activation and if anything, the value of early planning on this has been demonstrated." Other than MasterCard, MLB sponsors advertising in the Fox All-Star Game telecast include Anheuser-Busch, Chevy, Firestone, Holiday Inn, Pepsi, State Farm and Taco Bell. Taco Bell, an MLB corporate patron, will have a lineup feature, while adidas and Paramount's upcoming release "Captain America: The First Avenger" will have round recap features.
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