SBD/April 1, 2014/MLB Season Preview

David Ortiz' Endorsement With Samsung Involves Active Participation On Social Media

Ortiz during the offseason inked a deal with Mars-owned Pedigree dog food
Samsung wants Red Sox DH David Ortiz to "be its MLB social media insider" as part of a recent endorsement deal, according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Ortiz will be "tweeting and sending photos on Samsung's behalf" at the White House today when team is honored by President Obama. When the Red Sox receive their championship rings in a ceremony on Friday at Fenway Park, he will "provide Samsung more insider access, while his name and likeness will also be used in a Web video." MLB on-field cap rights holder New Era is "using Ortiz as one of 10 to 12 MLB endorsers for its new 'Home of the Authentic' retail program with Lids." Other offseason deals saw Ortiz "link up with Mars-owned Pedigree dog food and sign a memorabilia deal with Fanatics.com." In terms of "existing partnerships, Ortiz did a 'viral' video with his son pushing Sony's PlayStation 4 console" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/31 issue).

USHERING IN A NEW ERA: New Era's "Home of the Authentic" campaign debuts today, featuring 10 MLBers: Ortiz, Yankees P C.C. Sabathia, Granderson, Dodgers LF Matt Kemp, Rangers 1B Prince Fielder, Braves RF Jason Heyward, Giants C Buster Posey, Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie and Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen. The campaign will be featured in 200 Lids stores this week (New Era).

SOMETHING'S BREWING: In Milwaukee, Rich Kirchen wonders if Brewers LF Ryan Braun can "ever regain his spokesman status." But "somewhat surprisingly, Braun already has two deals for the upcoming season: Franklin Sports Inc. and its 'Natural II' batting gloves and 3N2’s baseball and softball footwear and apparel." 3N2 President Marty Graham said that his company "never could have afforded to hire Braun before his suspension, but jumped at the opportunity after Nike dropped him." Franklin Sports Dir of E-Commerce & Marketing Adam Franklin said that company execs are working with Braun "because they view him as one of the best hitters in baseball" (MILWAUKEE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 3/28 issue).

BALANCING ACT: New Balance yesterday announced the brand has signed Rays 3B Evan Longoria, Phillies 1B Ryan Howard, Rays P Matt Moore, Red Sox C Mike Napoli and Brewers SS Jean Segura. The company also re-signed Angels P C.J. Wilson, Cardinals C Yadier Molina, Mets CF Curtis Granderson and Orioles SS J.J. Hardy. All endorsers inked multiyear agreements. New Balance will be the official on-field footwear and off-field athletic footwear and apparel provider for the players (New Balance).
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