Heavy Metal: Bat Sponsors Prove Lucrative For College Baseball Programs
Bat endorsement contracts "continue to be lucrative deals" for some college baseball programs "through cash compensation and free products," according to Jon Solomon of the BIRMINGHAM NEWS. Some deals "help schools pay the rising salaries for coaches." For the bat companies, the "goal is exposure of their products" as college baseball "continues to be televised more." The value of LSU's bat deal "nearly doubled thanks to its recent success." In an "old deal with Eason" that began in '07, LSU "received $150,000 per year." When the school "agreed to a new deal" with Wilson in '11, the school's annual pay "increased to $275,000." LSU grants Wilson the right to "use its team images to promote any product, pending approval by LSU." Wilson is the "title sponsor of one event annually" at the school. Elsewhere, South Carolina baseball coach Chad Holbrook "gives Rawlings exclusive right to use his name, voice or image in promoting Rawlings products." Holbrook "must make at least three promotional appearances for Rawlings each year." Meanwhile, Tennessee "grants Wilson the right to use NCAA-compliant images of the baseball team." The Tennessee web site "must have logos of Wilson and DeMarini and links to those company web sites." Wilson is the "title sponsor of one event annually at Tennessee" (AL.com, 6/17).