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Volume 25 No. 61
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Manfred: MLB Needs Trout's Help To Market Him Properly

Trout said he has no interest in marketing himself or becoming anything more of a celebrity than he is
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said that the league would "love to do more to promote" Angels CF Mike Trout, but it "has to start" with Trout himself, according to Jeff Fletcher of the ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER. Manfred said, "Player marketing requires one thing, for sure: the player. You can not market a player passively. You can't market anything passively. You need people to engage with those to whom [you] are trying to market in order to have effective marketing." Fletcher notes Trout has made it clear that he "has no interest in marketing himself or becoming anything more of a celebrity than he is." He has "twice declined opportunities" to play in the World Baseball Classic and has "never participated in the Home Run Derby." For as much as MLB would "love Trout on either of those stages, he doesn't want or need it." Manfred: "If he wants to engage and be more active in that area, I think we could help him make his brand really really big, but he has to make a decision that he's prepared to engage in that area. It takes time and effort" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 7/18). Manfred said, "The marketing of our players, raising their profile, growing their brand, is a really high priority for us. ... Mike Trout could raise his profile tomorrow if he decided that he wanted to engage a little more fully, give up some more of his free time." He added, "You've got to be willing to be out there on social media, you've got to be willing to put yourself out there and you have to devote time to it. We do think about it and it is a priority for us” ("PTI," ESPN, 7/17).

MISSING IN ACTION: USA TODAY's Gabe Lacques noted Trout has a "prominent shoe deal with Nike and appeared in national advertisements for Subway earlier in his career." However, Trout has "consistently scored poorly in Q ratings and other relevance metrics" (USATODAY.com, 7/17). ESPN's Adnan Virk noted there is no reason Trout "couldn’t be this megastar appearing in commercials and endorsements and movies," except that he "doesn’t want to do it." Virk: "MLB has tried to say, ‘Listen, we’ve got to push you and make you a modern-day superstar.’ They have an ESPN poll of who is the most famous baseball player that they know, and they still say Derek Jeter.” Nuggets F Richard Jefferson said, “That's an issue that baseball has to address. An individual might not want to go and do commercials and market himself, but at the end of the day, you have a product. You have to figure out how to put it out there.” Virk: “It’s not just Mike Trout. It’s Kris Bryant and other great personalities in the sport. Take a page from the NBA’s book” (“Get Up!,” ESPN, 7/18).

PUT MORE EFFORT BEHIND IT: Baseball HOFer Dave Winfield said he would "like to see baseball ratchet it up" regarding promotion of top players. He said, "You know who NBA players are, you know who football players are, you don’t know who all the baseball players are. We have tremendous athletes, great personalities, but it has to be really both sides. MLB and the Players’ Association have to work together to say, ‘Let’s start promoting those guys’” (“Get Up!,” ESPN, 7/18). Manfred said, "If I could trade the presence of our players on social media for the presence of the NBA players, 100% I'd make that trade. They've done a great job" ("PTI," ESPN, 7/17).

WINNING CURES EVERYTHING: Fox' David Ortiz referenced Trout when he said he would "like to see the face the baseball in a place everybody can see him and know more about him." Fox' Kevin Burkhardt: "You know where that is? The postseason. He's been there once, and (the Angels) were swept in a three-game series. ... You've got to get to the postseason. That's where you make your star, make your money" ("MLB on Fox Pregame," Fox, 7/17).