When Main League Baseball’s All-Star Recreation was final performed in Seattle in 2001, league sponsor Mastercard was lower than 4 years into the “Priceless” marketing campaign it constructed round baseball.
Launched in the course of the 1997 World Sequence, the primary “Priceless” advert created by McCann-Erickson centered on what Mastercard funds might purchase on the ballpark—then, solely on the ticket window and memento or concessions counters—in addition to the intangible experiences that “cash can’t purchase.” Throughout Mastercard’s 25-year tenure as an MLB associate, the variety of parts in and across the ballpark that Mastercard merchandise can’t pay for has shrunk significantly.
This yr, Mastercard not solely serves because the title sponsor of the All-Star Recreation, however it’s exhibiting off its small enterprise funds partnership with Apple Faucet to Pay on iPhone at a meals truck close to the sport’s T-Cellular Park host website. For the third yr, Mastercard sponsored MLB’s Dwelling Group Benefit Small Enterprise Contest, which gave profitable companies $10,000, a Mastercard Digital Doorways 2.0 toolkit, in-stadium advertisements of their dwelling market and a visit to the All-Star Recreation, the place they get to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.
Mastercard additionally will get its business-to-business facet within the recreation by airing a brand new “Look Nearer” advert for its NuDetect fraud detection know-how—which MLB makes use of to confirm All-Star Recreation voting—twice in the course of the recreation it’s sponsoring.
“It ties again to what our model is all about, our basis in ‘Priceless’ and experiences mattering greater than issues,” mentioned Anne Valentzas, Mastercard’s svp of shopper advertising and marketing and head of sponsorships for North America. “So even when we have been to leverage an NFT, we’re not a model who’s going to deliver that to our cardholders as an object. … There are at all times going to be experiences tied to it.”
The All-Star Recreation’s development right into a five-day All-Star Week—which Adweek can be masking in full this yr—has offered manufacturers with an rising variety of alternatives to depart their mark on considered one of baseball’s marquee occasions. In the midst of summer time with few different main sporting occasions to compete with, All-Star Week represents a quiet time on the sports activities calendar—with sufficient house for manufacturers trying to make some noise.
Increasing the enjoying discipline
Baseball’s final All-Star cease in Seattle seemed a lot smaller 22 years in the past. The league’s Futures Recreation of younger expertise and Celeb Softball Recreation have been of their earliest phases. There was no crimson carpet present earlier than the All-Star Recreation itself, and the MLB Draft wasn’t moved to All-Star Week till final yr.