SBD/July 9, 2014/Franchises

MLB Final Vote For All-Star Game Leads To Peculiar Partnerships Between Teams

There is a "mad dash" for teams with players included on the MLB All-Star Game Final Vote to partner with another club in the opposite league in an effort to "find a friend to help the cause," according to Blake Schuster of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. The Cubs and White Sox on Sunday were "busy scheming for the two players who still had a chance" to make the game -- Cubs 1B Anthony Rizzo and White Sox P Chris Sale. After checking with other teams, the White Sox "linked with the Nationals, who promised to help their cause as long as the South Siders pump up" Nationals 3B Anthony Rendon for the NL vote. Meanwhile, the Cubs "joined forces with the Tigers in exchange for promoting" P Rick Porcello's AL bid. With the Cubs and White Sox "on the road during voting, finding a partner with a homestand was imperative." The "easiest way to engage an audience is to have its attention for two to four hours every day." Meanwhile, the decision for the two Chicago teams not to partner with each other "wasn't that the Sox and Cubs were looking to stay away from each other; they just understood that many of their fans feel strongly about the rivalry and voting for the other player would be tough." Voting for the Final Vote ends tomorrow at 4:00pm ET (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/9). MLB.com's Brian McTaggart noted the Astros are "pushing relentlessly" in their quest to get P Dallas Keuchel some help to win a spot the Final Vote and have "teamed up with the Marlins" to promote 3B Casey McGehee for the NL Final Vote. Astros Social Media Manager Amanda Rykoff said, "We're basically doing a multi-platform really big social media push. Twitter will be the main focus and the easiest call to action. We'll have a different sweepstakes each day with different prizes for fans for voting." McTaggart noted the Astros will be "active on Facebook, too, trying to push Keuchel with sweepstakes" today and tomorrow (MLB.com, 7/7).

JUST IN TIME?
 MLB.com's Mark Bowman noted because Braves LF Justin Upton is "often seen blowing bubbles on the field, the Braves are making bubble gum a significant part of their campaign" for the Final Vote. The team has "designed bubble gum-themed T-shirts that their players will wear in the clubhouse this week." The T-shirts, gum and other merchandise also will be "distributed around Atlanta" (MLB.com, 7/7). Meanwhile, model Kate Upton is "asking her 1.45 million Twitter followers to vote" for Justin Upton. The model last October appeared on the cover of SI with Justin and Braves CF B.J. Upton (BIZJOURNALS.com, 7/9).
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