As we have learned, through first-hand experience and in-class lectures, sports and advertisement go hand in hand. First, there was the Super Bowl. Now, spring has sprung (finally) and it is time to put on your favorite team’s cap (Cubs? Sox?)
As for Major League Baseball, they are starting the new season with a new creative agency. This agency, BBDO, New York, has created a new campaign that carries the theme, “For the love of baseball.” Heartwarming, yes.
The campaign begins with a salute to opening day and follows up with a series of commercials featuring young star players. Themes include how attending a game can provide “memories that last forever” (Elliot, 2014). The passion for baseball is nothing, if not nostalgic. It is, after all, America’s past time.
But this past time is entering the 21st century via social media. The campaign includes Facebook, Twitter, and efforts by marketing and media partners. This includes ESPN, Budweiser, Pepsi, and more (Elliot, 2014). As of 2014, new partners such as Target, Kellogg, and more have been added to that list.
Despite our modern advances, it seems that loyal sports fan continue to watch the games live, not recorded. Nothing beats that game-winning point in the last second, or inning, of a game. Who cares if you watched it However, I just realized it could partially be attributed to our advances, particularly the ability for people to stream the games on their phone, iPad, or laptop.
Either way, this tells media planners, advertisers, and marketers that there is a high probability these fans will watch the commercials. This has helped strengthen baseball’s appeal as an effective advertising vehicle.
Senior vice president of global sports marketing for PepsiCo, Jennifer Storms, told NY Times reporters, “Sports is such a passion point between our consumers and our brands. We have renewed our partnership with M.L.B. in a multiyear agreement, extending a partnership we’ve had for 15 years.” (Elliot, 2014)
It is important to emphasize, however, part of the reason Pepsi and the MLB have a strong relationship is because their products (Crack Jack, Frito-Lay sunflower seeds, and Gatorade) coincide with the stadium experience. Budweiser also has a similar relationship, although it is not as strong.
Brands planning on using the baseball theme for their advertisement over the summer months can still create a relationship between their product and baseball. While the immediate product may have no relation to baseball, advertisers can simulate emotions, specifically nostalgia and passion, to create a bond.
Truth is, Americans love watching baseball and it never gets old. It’s the perfect recipe for advertising success!
Elliot, Stuart. (2014, March 30) “For Opening Day, a Campaign to Love Baseball” NY Times.
Retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/31/business/media/for-opening-