Today, MLB releases its league-wide marketing strategy
designed to lure fans back after the strike. But an exclusive
survey by THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY of all 28 MLB teams shows
that local ad campaigns of varying themes are already under way.
Below are summaries of each team:
ANGELS: A print ad campaign which is an open "goodwill"
letter to fans thanking them for their loyalty, support and
patience. During the season, there will be a TV campaign
featuring fans and players alike asking for viewers to get more
involved with the team. The slogan: "California Angels ... My
ASTROS: Print/radio/TV ads have run with a "Play Ball"
theme, but the main campaign will center around a "remember what
you love about the game" idea.
A'S: Print/radio/TV ads stress their $1 special discount
prices for children 14 and under. A follow-up campaign will
focus on players, fans and the fun of baseball while stressing
BLUE JAYS: Both print and broadcast advertising. Slogan:
"Year of the Fan."
BRAVES: TBS promos stress Braves baseball as "the best game
in town, with the best seats in the house" either at the stadium
or at home. TBS is using Braves players for 15-second spots.
BREWERS: TV ads featuring their broadcaster Bob Uecker.
Slogan: "Get Up, Get Up, Get Out Here!" No print ads now, but,
the team is featuring "huge" banners that say "Celebrate
Baseball" at entries of the parking lots.
CARDINALS: An extensive print campaign around the slogan of
"Let's Play Ball" ran during the replacement period, with TV ads
highlighting team history and former Cardinal greats. They are
in the process of forming a new campaign, and a decision is
expected early next week.
CUBS: The Cubs shot six commercials with former Cubs Ernie
Banks, Billy Williams, Ferguson Jenkins, Ron Santo, and current
Cub Mark Grace, and new leadership -- manager Jim Riggleman,
President Andy McPhail, and GM Ed Lynch. The message, according
to a Cubs spokesperson, is "We are working on it" -- meaning
bringing a winner to the city. A print campaign is yet to be
finalized. Radio spots will focus on Harry Caray and the Wrigley
Field experience. DODGERS: During replacement baseball, the
Dodgers ran TV & print ads focusing on the Dodger Stadium
experience. With the return of major leaguers, the theme has
been altered to include an emphasis on their three consecutive
Rookies of the Year: Karros, Piazza and Mondesi.
EXPOS: Print ads in local papers promoting the team and its
ticket policy. They are in the planning stages for a second ad
campaign focusing on their players.
GIANTS: Radio/TV/print campaign focuses on "Baker's Dozen"
-- a plan that allows fans to buy tickets for 12 games and get
the 13th for free, with priority for post-season tickets.
Beginning Sunday, ads will focus on the first homestand and the
promotions during that week.
INDIANS: Nothing at this time, but they are waiting to see
what MLB does with their campaign.
MARINERS: Two print and broadcast campaigns -- one focuses
around the theme of the Ken Burns' "Baseball," and the other with
the theme of "Play Ball." The "Play Ball" campaign will only run
through the end of May.
MARLINS: The Marlins and their advertising agency are
running a fan-focused campaign, targeting families with an
emphasis on the return of the game. Their slogan is "You Gotta
Be There," and ads are running on radio, print and TV. Ads may
feature Marlin players in a later campaign.
METS: Print ads center on themes of "We Missed You" and
"Here Is What We Are Doing For You." The print-only campaign
stresses reduced ticket prices.
ORIOLES: No print or broadcast ads at this time. They may
decide to run something closer to opening day.
PADRES: Ads with the slogan "We Want You Back!" on print,
TV and radio. The theme will continue through the season with
various promotional tags. Throughout the year, the team will
always be referred to as the "New Padres." The opening day
promotion is a "welcome home party" for the San Diego Chicken who
has not appeared in six years.
PHILLIES: The Phillies are celebrating their 25th
anniversary, and many of their promotions will focus on that
theme. Their advertising buy is radio-heavy, stressing "price,
players and promotions." They will also run the 25th anniversary
ads during games broadcasts.
PIRATES: The Pirates ran an "awareness campaign" during
replacement baseball and will run print, radio, and TV ads in
preseason stressing the experience of going to the ballpark. No
plans to use their players in these ads.
RANGERS: Print and broadcast ad campaign with the slogan
"Baseball's Back at The Ballpark."
REDS: Print and TV campaign with the slogan: "The Reds
Are Alive in '95." The team will continue with these ads for
the better part of the season.
RED SOX: They are continuing with their "Friendly Fenway.
Great Times For Everyone" theme on print/radio/TV. The team will
debut a new tagline soon: "Fielding New Dreams." Players will
appear in later ads.
ROCKIES: Print and radio ads that started in March have
sold the experience of being at the ballpark. The team ran four
ads, including one on Coors Field and how it was built, the
experience of entering a ballpark for the first time, and
catching a foul ball. The ads were designed to "give a warm
feeling about baseball" while stressing the new Coors Field. A
mid-March to Mid-April TV campaign on the new ballpark will be
rerun later this week.
ROYALS: TV and radio ads with a possibility of print ads
later. Slogan: "Royals Baseball. Bring It On!"
TIGERS: The Tigers have run ads with a "There is no place
like home" slogan since the beginning of the year, and have no
plans to change that strategy. The ads, running in both print
and radio, emphasize the ballpark experience.
TWINS: The team ran half-page print ad promoting half-price
tickets for their first home series. Slogan: "Twins Baseball, A
WHITE SOX: The White Sox claim that they spent most of
their ad budget advertising budget during the strike and say they
have no plans to run ads at this point.
YANKEES: The Yankees will introduce a special ticket offer
in conjunction with the New York Daily News beginning on April
30. The campaign will be launched in Sunday's edition focusing
on "legendary baseball in Yankee Stadium."