D'Backs Prepping For Second Annual Most Valuable Partner Awards Ceremony
The D'Backs next Thursday will hold their second annual Most Valuable Partner Awards gala, with the event expanded this year to include a new fans' choice award. Launched last year as a means to inject energy into traditional team-run sponsor summits, the club's '13 Most Valuable Partner Awards event in Chandler, Ariz., will again feature Oscars-style theming, black-tie attire, song-and-dance numbers and a red carpet. Awards will be presented in seven returning categories, including brand integration and marketing activation, with the fans' choice award honoring the company D'Backs fans felt best activated and presented their brand during the past year. The club polled fans late in the season regarding the award, garnering "tens of thousands" of responses, said team President & CEO Derrick Hall. "The feedback we received from the fans was tremendous, and we think this will quickly become one of the most coveted awards in the program," Hall said. More broadly, the club said the establishment of the awards program has injected a sense of competitiveness among D'Backs sponsors and in turn boosted marketing activity, part of the original intent. "This is something the sponsors definitely want and go after, and beyond what's happening here, we've heard from a large array of other teams about this during this past year, plenty in other sports," Hall said. "We've taken what could be a boring b-to-b summit and brought some life to it, and there's been notice." Awards again will be divided into "silver slugger" and "gold glove" divisions to account for differences in company size and sponsorship spending. Among the planned acts next week is a spoof on NBC's "The Office," with Hall in the role of former series character Michael Scott.