Sponsors line up as MLB ASG goes to Washington
T-Mobile, Mastercard and Geico are among the biggest MLB corporate sponsors activating around the July 17 All-Star Game, the first in Washington, D.C., since 1969.
“Washington is a city with a lot of tourists and foot traffic at any time, so our sponsors are seeing a lot of value there,” said Noah Garden, MLB executive vice president, business.
T-MOBILE TARGETS HEROS: T-Mobile will continue its recent marketing ties to active military, veterans and their families, with presenting sponsorship of the first All-Star Armed Services Classic co-ed softball tourney, in which members of the armed forces will compete. The championship game is scheduled for July 15 at Nationals Park, two days before the All-Star Game. The wireless network also is tying the All-Star Game to its #HatsOff4Heroes cause-related platform.
MASTERCARD STANDS UP: All-Star Game presenting sponsor Mastercard is staging a Washington Metro “takeover,” tying its brand to late-night trains servicing the events. Mastercard will again hold its poignant “Stand Up to Cancer” moment during the game, this year with an augmented reality addition, accessible by downloading the MLB.com app.
JOINING THE FRAY: In its hometown, new MLB sponsor Geico will be highly visible, including being title sponsor of the All-Star FanFest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Geico also is one of the sponsors debuting TV ads during the Home Run Derby or All-Star Game along with T-Mobile and New Era.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is teaming with Coke and The Players’ Tribune for a private “Budweiser Live” activation prior to Monday’s Home Run Derby near the stadium, similar to the one it put on at the NBA All-Star Game in February. Around 1,500 people are expected to attend. At the park, there will be an appearance by the Clydesdales and Budweiser commemorative All-Star Game cups.
Coke is supporting its “Share a Coke” campaign by bringing its oversized “Share Chair,” a social media favorite, to FanFest.
MLB’s “Play Ball Park” area will be expanded, from roughly 77,000 square feet in Miami last year to approximately 145,000 square feet this year, and integrated with a sponsor activation area a few blocks from Nationals Park. Supporting sponsors include Coke, T-Mobile, Church & Dwight, Nathan’s Famous and Kingsford.
CONSUMER PRODUCTS: Fanatics’ ever-increasing influence across sports licensing sees it operating the 25,000-square-foot retail space within the FanFest. Licensees having large displays within the “MLBShop.com a Fanatics Experience” store will include New Era, Nike, ’47 Brand, Stance, Outerstuff, Under Armour and Fanatics/Majestic, while WinCraft will again have a large pin-trading area. On-site customization will be provided by Majestic, New Era, Stance and Outerstuff.