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SBJ/April 24 - 30, 2006/This Weeks News
MLB Road Show adds a two-step twist
Published April 24, 2006
MLB Properties has hit the road for the fourth installment of its annual Road Show tour, and this year, the event is going a little bit country.
|Road Show stops will include the CMA Music
Festival (below) and Vans Warped Tour, which
has featured acts such as Senses Fail (bottom).
The cyber ballpark is housed in a 53-foot trailer and includes video game and Internet kiosks, batting and pitching cages, and space for band members to meet with fans. It also serves as a showcase for MLBP’s Authentic Collection of merchandise.
“The country audience is right in our wheelhouse from a number of angles,” Armus said. “We always said we wanted to expand out the scope of this initiative and get into more forms of music, so for this event, we figured, ‘Let’s give it a shot.’”
Last year’s CMA Music Festival drew an event-record 145,000 fans and is one of the marquee events for the entire music industry. Highlights from the last two CMA Music Festivals have been featured in network TV specials.
Champs, which will provide floor space dedicated to the Authentic Collection and promotional support, returns as the Road Show retail partner after servicing the debut national tour in 2003. Finish Line handled the retail partner role in 2004; Foot Locker did last year.
Armus said Champs’ return was based primarily on the better demographic fit of the company’s retail customers and those attending the concerts.
On the Vans Warped Tour, MLBP will sponsor the Vagrant Records stage and has formed a direct relationship with the record label, which is popular among the skateboarding and punk rock crowds. Various bands on the Vagrant Records label will help judge entries in a New Era hat design contest. In addition, Senses Fail, one of the more prominent Vagrant acts, will accompany winners of a Champs-sponsored sweepstakes to attend Games 3-5 of this year’s World Series.
“I think some of our fans were a little confused about this at first when it first came out we were entering a relationship with baseball,” said Wayne Pighini, Vagrant Records head of marketing. “But MLB came to us through the Warped Tour with the idea of working together, and it made a lot of sense. The band [Senses Fail] has some huge baseball fans, particularly [lead singer] Buddy [Nielsen], and promotional opportunities like this don’t always come along. Just as for baseball, this also gives us a chance to broaden our demo.”