SBD/Morning Buzz

T-Mobile Signs On To Sponsor MLB In Complex Three-Year Deal

T-Mobile, the country's fourth-largest wireless carrier, has signed a major three-year sponsorship with MLB and its teams that also includes extensive rights with MLBAM, giving baseball its first league-level telecommunications sponsorship deal in nearly 15 years. The agreement was announced last night at CES in Las Vegas. Perhaps most notably to fans and team managers, the deal also brings the advent of mobile phones in MLB dugouts to call bullpens. The complex deal, pegged by industry sources to be worth about $125M over three years, will give teams one of three choices with regard to the dugout phones: participate fully with T-Mobile branded docking stations, used an unbranded wireless system with an MLB logo, or not participate at all.

T-Mobile also will work extensively with MLBAM across the league to boost in-venue fan connectivity, a major issue across the entire sports industry and one baseball has put more focus on over the past year. T-Mobile through MLBAM also will gain access to exclusive digital baseball content and conduct various co-marketing initiatives.
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