SBJ/February 28 - March 6, 2005/Marketingsponsorship

Phillies ready for busy season of promotions

When fans head to Citizens Bank Park for the start of the $346 million ballpark’s sophomore season, they’ll see some new action off the field.

They’ll be able to sign up for a Phillies-sponsored credit card, take home a Louisville Slugger bat engraved with their own signature or try their hand at pitching against Sammy Sosa in a virtual arcade game.

Most of the new events are backed by sponsors, as the Phillies strive for new ways to gain exposure for their team as well as their roster of 70 corporate partners. The season opener is April 4.

Sponsors will help the team foot the bill for more than a dozen giveaways this season, including collectible medallions, 5-inch-tall Phillies’ Mister Potato Head toys, fleece blankets, reversible bucket hats and Wiffle Ball and bat sets.

Work on the team’s promotion schedule starts in the offseason when about 20 people from the team’s marketing, public relations, stadium operations and ticket and advertising sales departments sit down to brainstorm ideas.

“Everybody, whether it’s an administrative assistant on up to the vice president of sales, gets to voice their opinion about what will be hot,” said John Brazer, the Phillies’ marketing publicist.

The large group allows the team to have different age groups represented and also ensures the team’s different constituents are represented.

“Dave [Buck, vice president for advertising sales] will want something that sponsors can get their name on,” Brazer said, “while I look for something fans will want to hold onto as a keepsake.”

John George writes for Philadelphia Business Journal.

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