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Volume 20 No. 42
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Fan Cave going global for WBC

Delta Air Lines and Brand USA, an arm of the U.S. Tourism Board, are in as sponsors of the World Baseball Classic, which resumes in March and concludes March 17-19 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Sponsor assets include venue and virtual signage, along with media on MLB Network, the exclusive English-language television outlet for the WBC.

The Giants’ Pablo Sandoval, a Fan Cave visitor, is set to play for Venezuela in the Classic.
Meanwhile, MLB is using the third edition of the WBC as a platform to launch a global version of its two-year-old Fan Cave in Greenwich Village. One fan from each of 16 participating WBC countries will participate, with those selected being eliminated as their countries are. MLB will move a version of the Fan Cave to San Francisco for the semis and finals.

MLB is soliciting video and written submissions for the “Cave Dweller” positions between now and Jan. 11. Thirty-nine games will be played in seven venues in four nations and territories from March 2 through March 19.

“We’ve had a lot of success generating content and tying into social media with our Fan Cave, so a World Baseball Classic edition was the next logical step,” said Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president of business.

Delta had been used as a WBC travel provider previously, but this is its first time with sponsorship rights for the WBC, won by Japan in its first two iterations in 2006 and 2009.

With foreign tourism down in the U.S. since 9/11, Brand USA is looking to leverage the power of baseball, especially in Asia, to promote visits to the U.S. For the WBC, overall sponsorship revenue is “as robust, if not more so, than the first two tournaments,” Brosnan said. And with countries like Brazil, China and Japan in the WBC field, “we’ll look for some good sponsorship growth from outside the U.S.”