When you think of a baseball you think of a sunny day filled with hot dogs and peanuts, children running around with their gloves hoping to catch a homerun ball, and just the over all American sport. What if you happened to see your favorite player slide to second base and when he gets up you see the base with a logo of the SpiderMan 2 movie, interesting right? Darren Rovell, an ESPN reporter, stated “that as part of a marketing alliance between Major League Baseball Properties, Columbia Pictures and Marvel Studios, webbed logos of the upcoming film “Spider-Man 2″ will appear on bases and on-deck circles in 15 stadiums of teams playing host to interleague games June 11-13.”
This news was not received well by many fans of the sport because they felt as though the move was completely unnecessary and unrelated to sport. Some fans claimed that the move is yet another sign that anything can be bought as long as you give the right price. Bob DuPoy, Major League Baseball’s president and chief operating officer, responded by saying that that fans should not expect to be bombarded with advertising when watching games and that it ,” is not a step toward wallpapering the ballpark.” The term wallpapering came from when the Major League Baseball was allowing different ads to appear on the padding on the outfield walls and other signs around the field. Originally the Spider Man 2 logo was going to be placed on the netting behind the catcher but the league feared that the image would distract the players. Baseball received $3.6 million in the deal between the MLB and Marvel Studios and Columbia Pictures
The reason that I thought this article was really interesting is because it had so many mixed reactions and I also found it strange that two seemingly unlike things worked together. When we think of baseball we almost never establish a connection to Spiderman. Although some people might find similarities such as the case of Geoffrey Ammer who stated that, “This is the perfect alliance between two quintessential national pastimes — baseball and movie-going,” I agree more with the general public in that advertising should be left to the stands or giveaways in entrances to the ballparks and not to the game itself. David Carter, principal of The Sports Business Group, said it best when he was quoted saying, “Some will say this reinforces the convergence of sports and entertainment, while others will suggest the only thing converging is bad taste.” While I do applaud the attempt of MLB trying to reach out and figuring out other ways to make more money, I do feel like they should find unique ways in which they wont anger their fan base which in the end is who they are there to serve in the first place.
Rovell, Darren. (2004, May 6). The Tangled Web of Sports and Advertising. ESPN.com. Retrieved from: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/sportsbusiness/news/story?id=1795742