SBD/March 31, 2014/MLB Season Preview

MLB Launching Campaign Emphasizing Love Of The Game, Lifelong Memories

MLB is entering the new season with a new lead creative agency, BBDO, N.Y., and "invoking the L-word -- love -- to describe how fans feel about the sport, and how everyone else should, too," according to Stuart Elliott of the N.Y. TIMES. The campaign, entitled "For the love of baseball," begins "with a salute to opening day." The campaign will "proceed with commercials that celebrate how attending a game can provide 'memories that last forever' and salute young star players" such as Dodgers P Clayton Kershaw, Rays P David Price and Angels CF Mike Trout. The campaign "will be accompanied by initiatives in social media like Facebook and Twitter as well as a wave of efforts by marketing and media partners" of MLB, including Budweiser, ESPN, FS1, New Era, Pepsi and Sony. BBDO was "awarded the lead creative duties last month, assuming them from Hill Holliday in Boston, part of the Interpublic Group of Companies, which remains the creative agency" for MLB Fan Cave. BBDO President & CEO John Osborn said the ad's goal is "to celebrate the journey, the season, as much as the destination." In the Opening Day commercial, "cap-tips to recent opening day exploits" by Kershaw and Nationals LF Bryce Harper are "accompanied by scenes" of Hank Aaron tying Babe Ruth’s home-run record, and Jackie Robinson when he broke the color barrier in professional baseball. A commercial entitled "Always There" for Budweiser also "takes a then-and-now tack, recreating milestones" such as Ruth’s purchase by the Yankees in '19 and "The Catch" by Willie Mays in '54. The ad concludes with "a glimpse of a contemporary Cardinals game at Busch Stadium" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/31).
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