The Sharks announced a multiyear, seven-figure partnership with San Jose-based Fry's Electronics to become the team's official retailer for consumer electronics through '16. Fry's signage beginning this season will be located throughout SAP Center, including a pair of dasherboards as well as the company's logo painted on the ice. Additionally, Fry's will sponsor the "Out of Town Scoreboard" in-game feature. Fry's will get exclusive advertising on LCD displays throughout the main concourse of SAP Center and Sharks Ice at San Jose, while Sharks Ice Fremont also will display Fry's dasherboards (Sharks).
PIRATES' BOOTY: In Pittsburgh, Thomas Olson notes sales of Pirates merchandise in stores that specialize in local pro sports items "for many weeks have run double or even triple those of the past seasons when the Pirates were hardly contenders" for a playoff spot. Several stores compared fan turnout to the early '90s, "when the team battled for the pennant." Hometowne Sports Manager Annie Tinnick said that foot traffic from the Pirates is "double year-ago levels." Sports Deli Owner Michael Autieri said that he "expects Pirates-related sales will surge even more 'when they get to the playoffs'" (PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/18).
CAMERA SHY: ESPN's Jayson Stark noted there are not many MLBers in major TV marketing campaigns and said, "For baseball to get to that place where it has one, or two, or three, or even a half dozen major faces of the game, it's going to require a massive cultural change within the sport." Stark: "The culture of the clubhouse is that they don't like it when players step out and say, 'Look at me,' or call attention to themselves in all sorts of ways. Teams don't like it and front offices don't like it. It's very difficult for a team or for the sport to promote a player because of all that backlash" ("Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 9/17).