MLB signs blockbuster T-Mobile deal
Major League Baseball (MLB) has signed a new league-wide sponsorship deal with mobile communications network T-Mobile.
The league announced that T-Mobile will become the league's new official wireless sponsor at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on 8th January.
Though the league called the new deal a 'multi-year, multi-million dollar partnership', it is estimated to be worth in the region of US$125 million over a three-year period.
It is MLB's first league-wide mobile deal in over a decade and it comfortably eclipses T-Mobile's multi-faceted partnership with the National Basketball Association, which was worth some US$25 million before it expired in 2011.
As part of the deal, T-Mobile will work alongside MLB's digital commercial arm, MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) to install wireless communications systems in MLB dugouts across the country.
According to the SportsBusiness Daily, ballparks title sponsored by mobile networks - such as US Cellular Field in Chicago and AT&T Park in San Francisco - will have the systems installed but they will not be branded.
MLBAM and T-Mobile will also work together to leverage T-Mobile's technological expertise to enhance the MLB mobile offering and its marketing capabilities.
“The underpinning of a partnership with a key provider like T-Mobile mirrors baseball’s long-held belief in leveraging and implementing wireless technology to deliver first-rate products and services to the industry and our fans,” said Bob Bowman, president and chief executive of MLBAM. “T-Mobile will play an important role as we continue that focus on bringing top-notch content, connectivity and customisable experiences to consumers wherever they are.”
"Unlike a typical sponsorship, we’re approaching this partnership as a collaboration in which T-Mobile, MLB and MLBAM will work together to evolve the game with exciting new technology innovation enhancing the experience for customers and fans," said T-Mobile USA's chief marketing officer Mike Sievert.
T-Mobile will support its new sponsorship with comprehensive marketing partnerships with MLB's broadcast partners Fox, Turner, MLB Network and ESPN.
The company already has local deals in place with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Seattle Mariners.
Picture shows former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre (right) hugging T-Mobile USA chief executive John Legere (L) during a news event at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Tuesday 8th January.
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- Length of contract: 3 years
- Annualised value: US$4.166 million
- Overall value: US$125 million