January 20, 2010: To paraphrase the classic line from Field of Dreams, if you plant it, they will come.
Major League Baseball Properties said it has signed a multi-year deal with The Scotts Co. designating it "the official lawn care company of Major League Baseball." Financial terms were not disclosed.
The deal creates a new category for MLBP and also is the largest sports relationship for Scotts, which has an alliance with Nascar, according to the division of The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co., Marysville, Ohio.
As part of the sponsorship, Scotts has been working with the head groundskeepers at five MLB stadiums, including the two oldest MLB ballparks, to create grass seed blends and fertilizers that will mirror the "varieties and technology" used at the Boston Red Sox's Fenway Park, Chicago Cubs' Wrigley Field, Cincinnati Reds' Great American Ballpark, Philadelphia Phillies' Citizens Bank Park and St. Louis Cardinals' Busch Stadium. MLB said that other club-specific products are in development.
This is the second new marketing partnership category created by MLB for the 2010 season, joining a deal unveiled in December that named Firestone as its first "official tire."
The product will be called "Groundskeepers Select" and come with the claim: "Contains actual varieties used at . . . " followed by the name of the respective stadium, and "Designed by the head groundskeeper of . . ." followed by the team name and groundskeeper's signature. Packaging will also feature the team logo and ballpark name of each respective club and a baseball with the MLB logo. The product will be sold at retail beginning in April.
Support will include Scotts' MLB-themed TV spots on networks that carry MLB games, print, Internet and POP. Scotts will also have a presence at the 2010 All-Star FanFest during All-Star Game events this July in Anaheim.
In addition to the licensed products, Scotts has signed deals with the Atlanta Braves, Red Sox, Cubs, Reds, the 2010 All-Star Game host Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Phillies, Cardinals and Texas Rangers for in-stadium exposure as well as the use of logos in local advertising and promotions for the respective markets.
“This is a partnership between two great American brands – the overlap between baseball fans and homeowners is immense,” John Price, brand manager, lawns marketing at Scotts, said in a statement. “Now fans can use the same Scotts technology and seed varieties used on Major League Baseball fields to achieve premium results on their home lawns.”
According to Tim Brosnan, MLB's evp-business, “The grass on the field of play is part of the very foundation of baseball, so this deal with Scotts . . . is a natural fit for Major League Baseball."