By Barry Janoffcv
October 19, 2015: On the heels of launching a $100 million "Where Actions Speak Louder" campaign, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts and Starwood Preferred Guest unveiled a partnership naming Sheraton as the “official hotel of Major League Baseball” and SPG as the “official hotel loyalty program" of MLB.
According to the hotelier, the new alliance "brings Sheraton guests, Starwood Preferred Guest members and avid baseball fans closer to the action by providing them access to must-see games while on the road, as well as the opportunity to bid on once-in-a-lifetime experiences."
Financial terms of the MLB deal were not disclosed.
The Sheraton push comes as Courtyard By Marriott is upping its presence as the official hotel of the NFL, including a Super Bowl 50 "Suite Stadium Contest" offering an overnight stay in Levi's Stadium the night before the game this February.
In July, Marriott partnered with the NBA across international games on five different continents, including regular-season games in Mexico City (Dec. 3) and London (Jan. 14).
Sheraton said it would immediately support its new pact with MLB with a viewing party tonight (Oct. 19) in the Sheraton New York Times Square of Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. The event will be hosted by four-time MLB All-Star José Reyes, SNY and five-time MLB All-Star and TV MLB analyst and commentator Keith Hernandez.
Sheraton said that participating hotels would host post-season screenings of MLB games through the World Series.
Also beginning today, Starwood Preferred Guest members will be able to use Starpoints for pairs of tickets to 2015 World Series games. (Details here.)
Sheraton will support with a multi-platform campaign to tie-in with the 2016 MLB season, including TV, print, Internet, social media and in-hotel signage.
The brand also will activate around the 2016 MLB All-Star Game in San Diego, where the Sheraton chain has numbers hotels.
MLB-related promotions and sweepstakes will offer tickets to games and other prizes.
Within its hotels, Sheraton said it would offer complimentary access to MLB.TV. In addition, custom Starwood booking widgets located on MLB.com and participating teams’ schedule pages will aid people in booking travel plans to see MLB teams on the road.
“We are thrilled to become the ‘official hotel of Major League Baseball,’ a sport we know is a true passion for a lot of our Sheraton guests,” Dave Marr, global brand leader for Sheraton Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement. “The partnership provides Starwood with the ability to connect with the MLB fan base, a large and highly engaged audience that will help support the brand’s repositioning and further drive loyalty.”
According to Noah Garden, evp-business for MLB, "This new partnership will provide MLB content and unique experiences to Sheraton guests and SPG members, offering baseball fans an attractive benefit when making a hotel choice. In addition, MLB will deliver enormous visibility to millions of passionate baseball fans, giving Sheraton an important platform to showcase its new brand positioning."
“We know many of our members are loyal baseball fans and appreciate unrivaled access to amazing seats and exclusive experiences,” Mark Vondrasek,svp-commercial services for Starwood Hotels & Resorts, said in a statement. “Through this new partnership with MLB, we can fuel our members’ passions with unforgettable moments tapping into the best that baseball has to offer.”
The company's multi-platform "Where Actions Speak Louder" campaign, launched in September and scheduled to run through 2017, includes Sheraton's first TV spots in about ten years, as well as print, Internet, social media, mobile and in-room.
Lead agency is Marcel New York.
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