Players Take Back Seat To Chevy Trucks At MLB All-Star Parade
During yesterday’s MLB All-Star “Parade of Pickup Trucks and Ballplayers” through NYC, "it was hard to identify” players since they were “dressed in ordinary clothes, without numbers on their back," according to Jim Dwyer of the N.Y. TIMES, who writes under the header, “A Parade of Advertising, Starring Players.” As a "visual aid, each truck had the name of the player posted on the side.” The parade is "essentially a television commercial for pickup trucks, with ballplayers serving as ornaments." N.Y. since '08 has "started charging groups that hold parades." Although parts of Midtown Manhattan were "paralyzed for stretches of the day," MLB got "the 'small' event rate -- $100,000." One of the All-Star events was at a Subway sandwich shop in the Flatiron district. Subway spokesperson Jared Fogle, who had been in K.C. last year to give away sandwiches when the All-Star Game was held there, said, "In Kansas City it was an event for the ages." But Dwyer notes, "Things were a bit different in New York." Fogle said, "It's the mecca of the world. You guys are used to doing it all the time" (N.Y. TIMES, 7/17).
FRENEMIES: In Newark, Eliot Shorr-Parks noted the mascots of the Phillies and Mets -- the Phanatic and Mr. Met -- were "featured in a MasterCard commercial during the Home Run Derby on Monday night." The spot featured the "two rival mascots coming together -- and overcoming a history of pranks -- to do some good" (NJ.com, 7/16).
GETTING THE MESSAGE OUT: During Fox’ All-Star Game telecast last night, 37 commercial units belonged to MLB sponsors, including spots from Chevrolet, T-Mobile, MasterCard, Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, Bank of America, Gatorade, Firestone, Head & Shoulders, Taco Bell and Bayer. Five MLB sponsors also had brand new advertising during All-Star Week to unveil a new product, service or initiative, including Chevy, T-Mobile, MasterCard, A-B and Pepsi (Austin Karp, Assistant Managing Editor).
CRUSHING THE COMPETITION: In Baltimore, Chris Korman noted sales of Orioles 1B Chris Davis jerseys "are, of course, soaring." Data from online retailer Fanatics.com shows that they were "up 200 percent in June compared with May." Davis merchandise "sold better than that of all but eight" MLBers. For the companies that "own rights to sell official Davis gear, business is good" (Baltimore SUN, 7/16).