SBD/May 13, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Markakis Among Players Who Couldn't Use Pink-Labeled MaxBats Due To MLB Policy

Pink MaxBats are not allowed by MLB under its agreement with Louisville Slugger
Orioles RF Nick Markakis decided "not to use his specially made MaxBat black bat with a pink label Sunday" because it did not comply with an MLB policy, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore SUN. Markakis, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, instead "donned pink cleats, pink wristbands and pink batting gloves" as part of the league's effort to raise breast cancer awareness. Yahoo Sports last week reported as part of an agreement between MLB and Louisville Slugger, the bat company has the exclusive use of pink bats with MLB logos. Connolly noted Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe, whose mother "also is a cancer survivor, used his pink-labeled MaxBat" (BALTIMORESUN.com, 5/12). Plouffe on Friday said, "From my understanding, there are certain companies that own the rights to MLB's logo on their stuff. Within that contract, they're the only ones that can distribute pink items for us to use. I just think that that's kind of ridiculous, not just with Louisville Slugger but with all the companies that do that. It's not really about raising brand awareness. It's more about raising awareness for the cause" (FOXSPORTSNORTH.com, 5/10). In DC, James Wagner noted MLB on Friday clarified its policy, saying that pink bats "made by other companies can be used on Sunday as long as the manufacturer makes a 'modest donation'" to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. A league official said that this was the "second year in which pink bats made by companies other than Louisville Slugger could be used on Mother's Day if a charitable donation was made to the Komen foundation." If a player "used a banned bat in a game, the player wouldn't be subject to fines or discipline." However, the bat manufacturer "would be in violation of rules" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 5/12).
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