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Volume 21 No. 1
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Chevrolet pulls into title deal for HR Derby

Major League Baseball corporate sponsor Chevrolet has added title sponsorship of the league’s Home Run Derby to its collection of baseball marketing assets.

Prince Fielder won last year’s event, the final edition sponsored by State Farm.
The General Motors brand has been an MLB sponsor since 2005.

Chevy has been aggressive with on-street test-drive promotions in and around MLB All-Star Game cities in recent years, which seems less likely in the congested New York City market, home of this year’s All-Star event. The addition of the Home Run Derby expands Chevy’s MLB All-Star Game rights, which already encompass sponsorships of  the annual Red Carpet Parade of players on MLB Network and the MLB All-Star Game MVP Award, the Fox pregame, and ads in the game telecast.

Beyond the media buy, activation plans are incomplete.

Chevrolet is sponsoring the Home Run Derby only for 2013. For the past six years, State Farm had titled the Home Run Derby, which is held annually the night before the league’s annual All-Star Game. The event is televised on ESPN and generally achieves a respectable TV rating during the summertime, when that is not an easy feat.

Last year’s Home Run Derby, won by Prince Fielder, posted a 4.1 rating and 6.9 million viewers on ESPN, up slightly from the prior year.

MLB had again targeted the insurance category in an attempt to find a sponsor for its Home Run Derby but was unable to come to terms with brands that included Geico, already a big buyer of MLB media, and USAA.