May 7, 2004

Spidey's Retractable Web - Baseball Changes Stance on Spider-Man

POST #    1007

One day after announcing a unique parnership with Columbia Pictures, Major League Baseball and Columbia turned around and changed their agreement. During the weekend of June 11-13, MLB agreed to promote Columbia's new movie, Spider-Man 2. The idea was to cross-promote the two and hopefully lure some kids back into the ballpark (not sure why they didn't just use the creepy chocolate man). The deal was thought up by McCann Erickson, the ad agency that represents both Sony (Columbia's parent company) and MLB. The deal had multiple promotional items for Spider-Man 2: webs and logos adorning the three bases and a ceremonial home plate for the ceremonial first pitch, Spidey on-deck circles, previews during the innings, and giveaways for the children. There was even some talk about putting something on the protective netting behind home plate, but that was nixed before the deal was announced. The revised deal will not have logos on the bases.

The deal was worth a reported $2.5 million for baseball, with $50,000 going to most of the participating home teams. The Red Sox and Yankees were to get $100,000 for the weekend promotion. get richer? Granted, not that much richer, but should they really have been pushing that envelope too?

Baseball set two dangerous precedents, that on field marketing can be bought and that teams with high payroll with get more money from baseball. When does marketing interfere with "purity" the game. Drugs are semi-accepted, despite drug testing, but do we really need to move towards more advertising or marketing on the field or on the players? Do we want the players to look like a stock car or like pro athletes in Europe? Baseball, despite all its misgivings, is a great game. Let's not muck it up by putting ads all over the place.

There is no doubt that parents would have brought their kids to the park to get free stuff, but where would their seats have been? Murray Chass wondered if the kids could they even have seen the bases, let alone the logo. It's a good thing they decided to change the promotion. Please, let the fields and the uniform remain uniform.

More information:
- Major League Baseball, Columbia Pictures statement regarding Spider-Man 2
- Spider-Man 2 swings into ballparks
- NY Times: Movie Symbol to Adorn Bases, Causing Gasps From the Purists
- NY Times: Advertising Casting Its Web Over Young Fans at the Park
- NY Times: Spider-Man Web of Ads Unravels

Posted by tien mao in Movies, Sports at 7:49 AM



I don't understand - why couldn't Spiderman just go to every baseball stadium over the weekend, do some tricks for a half hour, then move on?

Posted by: Jen at May 7, 2004 4:18 PM

Whoa, spidey doesn't *do* tricks. He's Amazing, remember?

Seriously, though? This is great for fanboys and geeks throughout the world. People are finally catching on to the fact that comics are A) cool B) polyps of history (read: comics through the 40's and 50's predicted WW2- It was on the history channel this weekend. C) Comics give kids heros to look up to that aren't Rappers, Rockstars, Professional wrestlers, women beaters, drug users or criminals. They are an ideal. They are father figures for those of us who disagree with the parenting that falls short. I look up to Spider-man. My whole life I've wanted to be like him, no I've not wanted super powers, but I have wanted to be a better person, to think of the greater good.

So, in summation, so what, everybody has a price. MLB included. Don't blame the S-man.

Posted by: Evan(does whatever a loser can) at May 8, 2004 11:22 PM

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