Major League Baseball has again expanded its sponsorship roster, this time signing Bank of America
The rookie will join seasoned baseball veterans such as Anheuser-Busch
The deal will elevate the Bank of America name to baseball's center stage, giving the firm enormous exposure domestically, as well as an opportunity to leverage the sport's growing popularity in foreign markets. While the association with the big boys will no doubt garner the most publicity, the minor league and Little League sponsorships should not be overlooked. Bank of America is the first company to sign concurrent deals with all three entities.
Bank of America already has significant ties to baseball, including existing sponsorships, lead backing on a $1.4 billion credit facility used throughout the league, and individual business relationships with 10 teams. Unfortunately, other banking partnerships at the local level might present complications. Philadelphia Phillies fans may not be ready to embrace Bank of America's involvement, considering their team plays in Citizens Bank Park. Ditto reluctance by the Diamondbacks faithful in JP Morgan Chase's
Furthermore, an increasingly cluttered sponsorship landscape (which I can only assume has somewhat of a dilutive effect) is also a concern. It can be difficult for Bank of America's message to reach fans when there are a dozen other companies vying for their attention, even if they're not necessarily in direct competition.
All things considered, though, the marketing people at Bank of America deserve a standing ovation for covering all the bases -- local, regional, national, and international -- in one fell swoop. From "Bank of America Day" at relatively obscure minor league ballparks nationwide to the global spotlight of the World Series, striking this deal will keep the firm in the batter's box with a chance to connect with fans for years to come.
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Fool contributor Nathan Slaughter has his fingers crossed for a decisive National League victory. He owns none of the companies mentioned.