SBD/November 29, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

MLBAM Expands Groupon Relationship With Two-Year Deal On GrouponLive Platform

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MLB Advanced Media has signed a two-year agreement with online daily deals site Groupon, paving the way for a large array of MLB-related offers to appear on the GrouponLive events platform over the '13 and '14 seasons. The league-level pact formalizes and broadens an involvement by Groupon in baseball over the last several years that has been on a club-by-club, ad hoc basis with various teams including the White Sox, Yankees, Nationals, Giants and Rangers, among others, and MLB in July for the All-Star Game FanFest in K.C. While some Groupon baseball offers will be solely discounted tickets, the thrust of the pact is based around package deals that also include amenities such as food-and-beverage credits, merchandise and ballpark tours. GrouponLive GM Greg Rudin said, "We've been working with various teams for a while. But it became evident that we needed to have a focus on a single, league partnership to have this really work and grow and have a consistent merchandising plan." Financial terms were not disclosed, but the pact relies upon a commission-based structure in which Groupon will earn money from completed offers. Individual clubs will retain the option to offer deals or not, and also to use smaller, regional daily deal sites if they so choose. But the MLBAM pact gives Groupon exclusive rights in baseball against its core competitive set, including Living Social. MLBAM Exec VP/Revenue Noah Garden said, "Groupon has a very large audience and a very distinct channel, and we're getting the opportunity to tap into it." He added, "As this space matures, it's not just about 50% off. Sometimes it is just price, sometimes it's access, sometimes it's something exclusive. Sometimes it's all those put together. So we're intrigued to see where this goes."
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