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SBJ/June 12 - 18, 2006/This Weeks News
A natural fit: MLB inks deal with Baby Ruth
Published June 12, 2006
Nestlé’s Baby Ruth brand has signed a three-year deal making it the official candy bar of Major League Baseball.
Nestlé will support with media buys on MLB’s TV rights holders Fox and ESPN that should begin as soon as next month. The contract also includes a club spending requirement. An incremental bit of offshore rights allows for rights in Puerto Rico.
Nestlé will put MLB logos on millions of Baby Ruth wrappers and activate with sweepstakes and other promotions. It also plans sampling at MLB’s jewel events.
A Nestlé spokeswoman said the company had no plans to use players in its marketing, although former White Sox player Harold Baines was signing autographs on behalf of Nestlé last week at The National Confectioners Association All Candy Expo in Chicago, where the company announced the deal.
MLB sponsorship chief John Brody said data from Simmons Market Research revealed that two-thirds of MLB fans buy five or more candy bars a month, and the fact that Baby Ruth buyers were 22 percent more likely to be MLB fans made the selling job relatively easy. Also in MLB’s favor was the brand name, long connected to the most famous slugger of all time, though without an official licensee. “The connection was already there, and with all the data in our favor, it just made sense to take advantage of it,” Brody said.
MLB’s last confection deal was in the late 1990s with Hershey’s for its Twizzlers and Bubble Yum brands.
GMR and the Radiate Sports Group assisted Baby Ruth on the deal with MLB.
Sports properties/teams and their partners in the chocolate and confectionery category.
|NBA||Nestlé (Crunch)||Chocolate and confections|
|NFL||Mars (Snickers)||Chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery|
|Wal-Mart FLW Tour
|Mars (Snickers)||Chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery|
|Little League||Mars (Snickers)||Candy bar|
|Robert Yates Racing||Mars (M&M's)||Primary sponsor of Elliott Sadler's No. 38 car|
|Andretti Green Racing||Hershey's||Associate sponsor|
Source: SportsBusiness Journal research