SBD/March 26, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Mike Trout, Bryce Harper Expanding Portfolios, Becoming Marketing Forces For MLB

Angels LF Mike Trout and Nationals CF Bryce Harper were each named Rookie of the Year in MLB last season, and "never in modern history have there been two winners in a single year as marketable," according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Trout has been "more willing to do deals, signing sizable national contracts with Subway, Nike and beverage BodyArmor, while Harper -- aside from an expansive deal with Under Armour -- has played somewhat hard-to-get." Trout has "started to build a healthy endorsement portfolio." BodyArmor Nutrition co-Owner Mike Repole said that the companies Trout signed with "legitimized his product." BodyArmor is running a promotion "for a fan to meet Trout, and the contest is being touted in thousands of convenience stores throughout the country." Trout figures to "make at least three times his $510,000 salary in endorsements alone this season." Meanwhile, Harper has "one major deal: Under Armour." UA Senior VP/Global Sports Marketing Matt Mirchin said of Harper, "He transformed baseball for us." The company has used Harper in "several national spots," and now is "looking to sell a 60-minute piece on Harper, featuring his rapid rise to Major League Baseball, to a major network." Mirchin said that the brand "will invest in Harper more" (ESPN.com, 3/25).

PLAY 162: In DC, Sarah Kogod noted Harper is among the players featured in MLB's new "I Play" campaign. Harper in addition to appearing in the Opening Day spot, is featured in a spot of his own. He says in the ad, "I play for the ‘W’ on my hat. And 95 more in the win column. I play for the pennants waiting to be hung, and the Nationals red pumping through my veins. I play for the warrior inside and out. I play for October" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 3/25).
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