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Volume 26 No. 177
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Royals Bolster Corporate Partnership Roster In Wake Of World Series Title

The Royals on the heels of their first World Series title in 30 years have signed 21 new corporate partners this offseason and renewed or extended another 11 existing deals. Royals VP/Marketing & Business Development Mike Bucek said sponsorship revenue for this season is up 22% from ‘15. Including radio-only partners, the new deals bring the team’s roster to just under 150. The team this offseason filled several new sponsorship categories, making Stoney Creek Hospitality its first official hotel partner and Creighton Univ. its first education partner. Other new partners include Old Dominion Freight Line, Planet Fitness, Flowers Foods, Re/Max, Chick-fil-A, True Value, My Pillow and Prime Lending. The team’s renewed and extended partners include Chevrolet, Smithfield Foods, Academy Sports & Outdoors, Sonic and Ford. Royals Senior Dir of Corporate Partnerships & Broadcast Sales Jason Booker pointed to the Old Dominion deal as an example of the team’s rising star among MLB teams, noting the company only partners with five MLB teams nationally. Booker: “For us to be a part of five-team MLB deals now has been great.” He added, “The ’14 success allowed us to open some doors, and winning it in ’15 really gave us an opportunity to get some of those across the finish line.”

Salvador Perez and Bret Saberhagen are working to promote the F-150 MVP edition
CHEESEBURGER IN PARADISE: Returning partner Budweiser this season will bring its Bud & Burgers campaign to Kauffman Stadium, as the brand is teaming up with Royals radio partner KCSP-AM, the Kansas City Steak Company and concessionaire Aramark on an outfield activation. The radio station will have a mobile studio parked in the left-field concourse where its pre- and postgame shows will be broadcast from, and an adjacent Bud & Burgers stand will offer Budweiser and burgers. The Royals will also promote Bud & Burgers with an in-game feature involving Budweiser-branded giveaways and Kansas City Steak gift cards. Meanwhile, Ford yesterday announced a limited run of 300 F-150 MVP edition trucks, which will be offered in Royals blue or white and include special MVP badging. Royals C Salvador Perez and former MLBer Bret Saberhagen, who played for the World Series-winning Royals in '85, are working with Ford to promote the vehicle. The truck follows the '86 Ford Ranger MVP edition, created in '85 to celebrate the team's first championship. Additionally, Missouri-based McCormick Distilling's 360 Vodka brand will sell a commemorative Royals World Series bottle in the K.C. area, a follow-up to the brand's AL Champions version last season.

EVERYWHERE A SIGN
: Bucek said that the team’s partners have put a particular emphasis on outdoor advertising in the region, blanketing the city with co-branded Royals billboards. Bucek: “We ask our partners where they’re doing outdoor so we can try to avoid doubling up and having our own Royals billboard adjacent to one from one of our partners. We’ve been in that habit the past few years. But as we put it together this year, it’s almost unavoidable to go out on the street and not see a Royals-branded billboard.” The Univ. of Kansas Hospital, which renewed its partnership this offseason, is among the brands employing Royals-themed billboards, along with Re/Max, Budweiser, MillerCoors and FS K.C. Re/Max agents will also be using Royals marks on their business cards and for-sale signs.

RADIO WAVES: The Royals this offseason added 12 new affiliate stations to the Royals Radio Network for a total of 81. The team’s new Spanish-language radio partner, Reyes Media Group, will air 40 games in Spanish this season on KYYS-AM, which Booker said has opened doors for new multicultural marketing dollars.