SBJ/Nov. 11-17, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Legacy Agency launching baseball expo

Add expositions to the corporate consulting, broadcast and athlete representation businesses of The Legacy Agency.
The New York firm is on the street with an 85,000-square-foot baseball show, aimed at both the business-to-consumer and business-to-business audiences, called “Baseball City.”

Looking to draw from fans in Arizona for the 15-team Cactus League, the event is scheduled for March 15-16 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

While the event is not under the control of MLB, The Legacy Agency CEO Mike Principe described it as a combination of the annual MLB All-Star FanFest and a trade show for baseball equipment marketers. Activities will include an opening-night dinner with MLB legends, autograph sessions, live broadcasts from the show floor, hitting and fielding clinics, and various other interactive elements, along with the usual trading card and memorabilia vendors.

Ticket pricing is not finalized but will be around $25 per person, comparable to the MLB FanFest.

TLA plans cross-promotions with Cactus League teams, including possible ticket/show packages. TLA represents around 60 MLB players, including CC Sabathia, Jose Reyes and Adam Dunn.

“Around the country, you see some local fan fests by teams, but we think there’s generally a six-month hole in baseball fans’ calendars we can fill,’’ said Principe, adding that he is using the PGA Merchandise and Comic Con shows as comparables. “We‘re pitching this as a great way for marketers to target baseball fans effectively without having to do multiple deals.”

If the show is successful, TLA hopes to expand the number of days and then open a similar show in Florida, to attract Grapefruit League fans. TLA is projecting that tens of thousands will attend the two-day show.

Asking price on sponsorships range from $25,000 to $500,000. Sponsors on board so far include Canyon Ranch, Jumbo Sunflower Seeds, Nintendo, Pepsi/Gatorade, OYO Sportstoys, the Phoenix Visitors Bureau, RotoExperts and Univision Radio. Principe said his group is targeting the auto, banking, cellular, hotel, insurance, memorabilia, sporting goods and supermarket categories.

TLA also is seeking media partners to do broadcasts from the event.

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