- Minor League Baseball (MiLB) this week launched "Grilling All-Stars," the largest retail campaign in its history, to reach fans as they prepare for tailgate parties and barbecues. Bush's Beans, Scott bath tissue, Scott paper towels, Ball Park Buns and The Original Louisiana Brand Hot Sauce have teamed up with the sports league on the campaign, per an announcement.
- MiLB is activating the marketing push at select retailers at more than 13,000 locations among the more than 100 U.S. markets that have minor league teams. The campaign seeks to engage fans at ballparks through mobile devices and smart displays from ISM Connect. Its smart screens help to gather data about consumers in each market, per an announcement about its partnership with MiLB last year.
- MiLB will urge fans to use "Grilling All-Stars" products, and give them a chance to win exclusive prizes, retail packages and experiences. The league is working with Brand Activation Maximizer on the campaign.
MiLB's "Grilling All-Stars" campaign seeks to leverage game attendance into retailer traffic and product sales by reaching baseball fans who are most likely to enjoy outdoor summer activities. The shopping habits of MiLB fans are strongly aligned with the participating brands' target markets. More than 10 million MiLB attendees have grilled at least once in the past year and have spent a total of more than $2 billion on groceries in the past week, according to Nielsen data cited by MiLB and BAM.
MiLB has used mobile technology in various ways to build relationships with fans. Last year, it developed a bilingual customer service platform that let fans interact with teams by using Facebook Messenger. The service relied on artificial intelligence (AI) technology to answer natural-language questions in English and Spanish about going to live games.
The marketing campaign comes as the league seeks to boost attendance after it dipped below 41 million last year for the first time since 2004. The decline was attributed to fewer games and unseasonable weather, per Baseball America. Previously, MiLB worked with Bush's Beans to provide donations to charitable organizations as part of #GivingTuesday, a movement that supports giving and philanthropic events at the start of the holiday season, per a separate announcement.