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Volume 24 No. 156
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     MLB will announce its new ad campaign today with the
tagline:  "Welcome to The Show."  The campaign is a "bold effort
to reposition the strike-battered sport as likable," according to
the WALL STREET JOURNAL's John Helyar.  The 30-second national TV
ads will feature such "emblematic figures" as a Giants' hot dog
maker, the Rangers' organist and a lucky apartment dweller who
has a view of Wrigley Field.  Rather than the "usual worshipful
celebration of the game's past, the campaign is a savoring of
baseball's quirky everyday pleasures."  Jeffrey Goodby, whose
Goodby, Silverstein & Partners agency created the campaign: "Our
job is to remind people of what's good about the game, remind
them about the whole experience of the game and why it's No. 1 in
your heart."  Helyar notes that MLB passed over a host of big ad
agencies in favor of Goodby Silverstein, a San Francisco-based
firm with a "strong creative reputation."  The agency has also
done ads in the past for the Giants and A's.  Expos Owner Claude
Brochu, who headed the committee that picked the campaign:  "It
recognizes the uniqueness of baseball but doesn't take itself
seriously."  No current players are featured in the first round
of ads, but eccentric former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee does
appear. As the season begins, more and more current players will
be incorporated.  The first two ads should be ready for
baseball's first regular season national telecast on ESPN.  The
ads will also appear on ABC & NBC regularly -- the two networks
that make up The Baseball Network.  Topps Inc. has also agreed to
incorporate "The Show" into some of their new merchandise (WALL
     IMPLEMENTATION:  MLB is shipping thousands of bumper
stickers and badges emblazoned with "Welcome to The Show" for
teams to hand out at games.  The total budget for MLB's campaign
is estimated between $10-15M (USA TODAY, 4/20).    Interviewed
during last night's ESPN game, NL President Leonard Coleman
called for a "Marshall Plan" for baseball:  "We have got to reach
out and touch all segments of the society.  Baseball has been a
great game because it has been able to transcend the playing
field"  (ESPN, 4/19).