Wednesday, January 23, 2019

What's in the advertising boosts who's on the field

A couple of thoughts about swapping the name "Miller Park" for some variation of "American Family Insurance" when the Madison-based insurer begins paying in 2021 to rebrand the Milwaukee ballpark with a new name and logos.

The vibe is that the deal will bring the team a raise; Miller Brewing was basically injecting $2 million a year into the franchise, and with attendance solidified and the team's fortunes on the rise, you'd think that American Family would be paying a premium above what Miller Brewing, now Miller Coors, had negotiated almost 20 years ago.

Though I will say right here that had the decision been "Foxconn Field" I'd have gone nuts, so don't look to me for purity on these things.

Sports economists might be able to guesstimate how or even if American Family recoups its sponsorship expenditures, whereas I'm sure MillerCoors knows exactly how much money the company made the last 20 years selling their products at ballpark prices.

And corporate tie-ins with ball clubs goes way back into baseball history. As a kid growing up in Washington, DC, I remember the radio commercials and program ads for Schaefer beer, and my New York-based maternal grandfather's family paid for an outfield billboard at Ebbets Field where the Dodgers played that said "STADLERS Shoes for you" to promote their stores.

The Brewers are Major League Baseball's quintessentially small-market, revenue-hunting team.

So it takes naming rights' dollars and other initiatives on the business side to move beyond being merely competitive in the division to sign a Lorenzo Cain, or extending a Christian Yelich down the road and adding a Yasmani Grandal to build off the 2018 season and make another championship run this year.

And to let fans fantasize about the Madison Bumgarners of the league coming to town with a World Series berth so tantalizingly close.

Meanwhile, isn't this really our favorite, corporate-free team logo?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

JS editor suggested "AFI stadium at Hank Aaron Park."