Lipton will attempt to own the wave during tonight's MLB Home Run Derby
PepsiCo typically has supported its Gatorade, Pepsi Cola and Aquafina brands as part of its corporate sponsorship with MLB, but the company's ready-to-drink Lipton iced tea will activate a new "Official Iced Tea of Major League Baseball" designation beginning with tonight's Home Run Derby. With an in-park activation planned tonight at Citi Field and at many of the 16 MLB parks at which Pepsi is a sponsor, Lipton will try to own the wave, by using scoreboard ads and PA mentions to transform it to "the Lipton Rally Wave." Fans celebrating the wave in unique ways can win instant prizes, including MLB-licensed merchandise and tickets. "MLB is a great sport that's played in the summer, when our consumption is high, and we are both strong family brands," said Marc Hanson, marketing director for the Pepsi Lipton Partnership. As for the attempt to brand and own the wave in MLB parks? “We thought about the fan experience and we looked at the wave and kind of considered it that quintessential time when every fan connects in a shared way. To us, it felt like sharing iced tea at home," Hanson added. A separate digital sweepstakes via MLBAM offers a top prize of 10 tickets to the postseason game of the winner’s choice. Support for the MLB/Lipton partnership is by digital ads, POS ads -- which will be team specific in some cases -- and in-park activities such as sampling. Lipton also will have sampling and an interactive display at the MLB Fan Fest. No TV support is planned. Hanson said the MLB alliance or any sports sponsorship is unusual for Lipton, but had already generated incremental display in grocery retail, Lipton’s predominant channel. Lipton’s Brisk iced tea brand used claymation representations of Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, and George Steinbrenner in a memorable ad years ago.