SOME THINGS MONEY CAN BUY -- DEALS WITH SEVEN MLB TEAMS
MasterCard Int'l has launched "MasterCard's Major
League Summer," the latest in a series of MLB-based promos,
which offers consumers the chance to win a decade's worth of
All-Star Game tickets and $50,000 in cash as the grand
prize. Consumers also receive instant "Value Card" savings
by using MasterCard at such stores as the Foot Locker chain,
Radio Shack and Sam Goody and Musicland. To support the
promo locally, MasterCard has signed seven teams to multi-
year sponsorship deals -- the Braves, Orioles, Red Sox,
Indians, Dodgers, Mets and Cardinals. MasterCard will serve
as the preferred card of each team and will further build
affinity card programs with each team's member bank
(MasterCard). BRANDWEEK's Terry Lefton reports that
MasterCard will break an ad for the program, featuring MLB
players, later this summer (BRANDWEEK, 6/29 issue).
HOWARD'S END: MLB's new VP/Licensing Howard Smith is
interviewed by BRANDWEEK's Lefton. Smith said that sales of
MLB licensed apparel are "up, but the game still isn't close
to where it has been in the past in terms of its overall
appeal. The fashion stuff is working and I expect that to
continue for the rest of the season. Other than that, kids
and women are big targets for us" (BRANDWEEK, 6/29).
WE'VE GOT ... HOSPITALITY: In Denver, Michele Conklin
examines corporate involvement around MLB's All-Star Game.
Dozens of CO corporations, such as Bank One, Coors Brewing
and the Rocky Mountain News are laying out "tens of
thousands of dollars to bring clients and employees" to the
game and surrounding events. Bank One, a national sponsor
of the game and a Rockies team sponsor, will spend "about"
$200,000 on its efforts. Bank One considers the price "well
worth it," as its own research shows that consumers "are
three times more likely to want to bank with the company if
they are aware" of its relationship with the Rockies. In
addition, Bank One is giving out 132 game tickets to
consumers and another 60 tickets to employees "who help
generate new business" (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 6/29).