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Volume 26 No. 64
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New Balance Creates Unique All-Star Campaign For Francisco Lindor

Indians SS Francisco Lindor is "the face of New Balance's baseball business," and in an effort to get Lindor voted in as a starter in the MLB All-Star Game, the brand has worked with marketing agency Brokaw on a "clever election campaign," according to Kevin Kleps of CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS. One of the highlights of the campaign is a video in which Lindor says he is "running for All-Star starting shortstop." He is "shown interacting with construction workers, talking to people in a restaurant and, yes, holding a baby." Six "vote for Lindor" billboards are going up in Cleveland, and there are "fliers, posters, social media posts, digital signage at RTA stations, and advertising spots on radio and TV." Brokaw partners "will be displaying posters, handing out fliers and posting about the campaign on social media." Brokaw Managing Partner Tim Brokaw said the agency and New Balance wanted the ad to "appeal to Cleveland specifically." Under MLB's new All-Star selection format, Lindor "has to crack the top three by Friday" in order to "move on to the next round of voting." If that happens, Brokaw said that there "will be an 'election day campaign rally' at Public Square on June 26." That day "marks the kickoff of a 28-hour window in which fans can vote for one of the three finalists to start at each position" (CRAINSCLEVELAND.com, 6/18).

BEST OF THE BEST? YAHOO SPORTS' Mike Oz wrote MLB has a "superstar problem," in that there "aren’t enough of them." The best players "aren’t known enough on the national scale," and this year’s All-Star voting is "further proving it." A recent update of All-Star vote leaders showed the "most recognizable name on there" is Angels CF Mike Trout, but things "quickly go downhill." There is "no Bryce Harper" or Manny Machado. Astros 3B Alex Bregman is on the list, and he is "trying to become a superstar right in front of our eyes," but he is "not a household name yet." Brewers RF Christian Yelich, Dodgers 1B Cody Bellinger, Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado and Cubs 2B Javy Baez are "leaders in their positions, and as great as they are -- and they’re really, really good -- they’re still more regional stars than national stars." MLB has a "hard time" getting its players to "appeal to the casual sports fan -- the person who occasionally will click on to a baseball game once hockey and basketball seasons are over" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/18).