By Barry Janoff
March 10, 2014: In an effort to take full advantage a unique marketing and promotional event during the 2014 baseball season — the All-Star Game and related festivities in Target Field in Minneapolis — Target Corp. has signed a deal to become an official sponsor of MLB.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Marketing will be anchored by the "All-Star Teachers Program," in conduction with MLB and People magazine, which will encourage people to nominate an outstanding K-12 teacher from their community. (Details here.)
The activation initially includes MLB players Carlos Beltran of the New York Yankees and Adrian Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Dodgers, with more players to be added during the course of the season. To spread the word, Target said it would host events in MLB communities, such as School Library Makeovers,
Support includes POP, Internet and such social media destinations as Facebook and Twitter.
In addition, Target will expand its inventory in MLB and All-Star Game merchandise in its stores and on Target.com throughout the spring and summer.
MLB All-Star Week in Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, includes Taco Bell All-Star Sunday (July 13), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day and the Home Run Derby (on July 14) and the 85th MLB All-Star Game (July 15).
The T-Mobile All‑Star FanFest will be held in the Minneapolis Convention Center (July 11-15).
“With Target’s dedication to education, it is a welcome addition to our outstanding relationship with People in showcasing everyday All-Stars in our community.”
“Major League Baseball’s wide-reaching partnership with Target will focus on the importance of education and teachers during a season where the All-Star Game will fittingly be hosted at Target Field,” Tim Brosnan, evp-business for MLB, said in a statement. “With Target’s dedication to education, it is a welcome addition to our outstanding relationship with People in showcasing everyday All-Stars in our community.”
Target has set up a dedicated Web site to share information and provides updates. (Details here.)
Visitors to the All-Star Teaches Web site can nominate their favorite educators now through May 6. Target, MLB and People will select 90 finalists, three teachers per MLB club. People can then vote from June 5-29. The 30 winning “All-Star Teachers” – one representing each MLB club – will be unveiled on July 9, with a special tribute during the All-Star Game on July 15.
"Target is honored to partner with Major League Baseball in celebrating great teachers nationwide," Laysha Ward, president, Community Relations for Target., said in a statement "Teachers are essential to helping kids reach their full potential and keeping them on the path to high school graduation. This partnership helps bring to life Target’s commitment to give $1 billion to education by the end of 2015."
The Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, was established in 2009 to help Puerto Rican students "develop their athletic skills while also focusing on their education." The Adrian and Betsy Gonzalez Foundation "focuses on athletics, education and health to help children learn and grow."
The alliance with MLB comes shortly after Target disclosed that a data breach late last year impacted 40 million credit and debit card accounts and that hackers accessed personal information from upward of 70 million of its customers. Beth Jacob, Target's CIO, recently resigned in wake of the events.
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