Little League Scores Big League Sponsors

Boston Globe: When parents and baseball fans arrived at the state’s Little League championship in Beverly on Sunday, they were met at the gate with a friendly welcome: Members of two Beverly baseball teams, ages 10 to 12, handed out baseballs imprinted with the Bank of America logo, packaged with peanuts and Cracker Jacks.
”Switch to Bank of America,” one of the boys yelled.
”It’s a better bank for better people,” another chimed in.
Bank of America Corp., which last year signed a deal with Little League Baseball, Inc., to become its official bank, one of a growing number of large national companies that see a big payoff from marketing to children’s sports teams. After years of haphazard and disjointed efforts, mostly by tiny local businesses, to penetrate youth sports, big national corporations, with their multimillion-dollar marketing budgets, increasingly are horning in on the action. Little League Baseball now has 15 national sponsors, up from about eight a decade ago.
”People care very deeply about the Red Sox and the Patriots, but the deepest affinity in existence is for their kids’ games,” said Bryant McBride, group vice president of team and youth sports at Active Marketing Group, which is implementing many of the national companies’ youth sports marketing programs.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.