SBD/March 20, 2012/Franchises

MLB Franchise Notes: Gold-Disney Group Reinstated Into Dodgers Bidding

In L.A., Bill Shaikin reports Shamrock Holdings President & CEO Stanley Gold and the Disney family were "reinstated to the Dodgers bidding" yesterday, leaving five parties in contention to buy the team. The Gold-Disney bid was rejected last week by a committee of MLB owners, "amid concerns over the structure of an offer that included private equity financing to back the launch of a regional sports network." The entire body of MLB owners is "expected to vote within the next week on the five remaining bidders" (L.A. TIMES, 3/20).

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME
: In Houston, Zachary Levine noted the Astros yesterday launched a new ad campaign "in print, online, at the ballpark and around the city featuring the new slogan 'ROOT. ROOT. ROOT.'" That message "will be on billboards, signage at the ballpark and even on the home dugout at Minute Maid Park." Fifteen billboards will go up "across the city featuring five different Astros" -- 2B Jose Altuve, C Jason Castro, LF Carlos Lee, LF J.D. Martinez and P Bud Norris. The new campaign represents a "full break from last year’s slogan, 'We are your Astros,' as new management puts its own black-and-white, block-lettered stamp on the marketing side" (CHRON.com, 3/18).

MORE MARKETING CAMPAIGNS: The A's and Hub Strategy, S.F., are launching the third season of their "Green Collar Baseball" ad campaign. The program will feature TV and radio commercials, print, outdoor and digital advertisements. The "Green Collar Baseball" slogan will also be integrated throughout the A's marketing and ad campaign initiatives (A's)....YAHOO SPORTS' Kevin Kaduk noted the new Twins commercials have been released for the '12 season, and they are "part 'Jack Handy,' part 'Major League,' and all pretty funny." Twins C Joe Mauer's "sneaky comic side might be one of the more underrated parts of his game" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 3/16).

PLATINUM JUBILEE: In Baltimore, Kevin Cowherd wrote the excitement around the 20th anniversary of Camden Yards "is a stroke of marketing genius." Fans all season long will be "hearing ad nauseum about all the neat things the Orioles are doing to celebrate the occasion." Playing up the "wonderful ballpark in the hope that skeptical fans forget your team stinks is a Marketing 101 principle." Cowherd: "And if I were in charge of generating interest in the Orioles, I'd probably do the same thing" (Baltimore SUN, 3/19).

WATCH AND LEARN: In Dallas, Tim Cowlishaw wrote the MLB Rangers are the "only team among the four local major pro clubs" that have not won a championship, but they are the "closest to the franchise ideal today." Rather than "rest on their laurels, they made a huge high-risk investment this winter" with the signing of Japanese P Yu Darvish. At worst, the five-year, $100M deal for Darvish "could be viewed as foolhardy." But with new TV money "on the horizon from Fox, it’s a risk worth taking." The payoff "could be tremendous for a team that already was stocked with pitching before Darvish’s arrival" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/19).
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