- Major League Baseball launched a new brand campaign to coincide with the 2023 season’s opening day on March 30, according to a press release. The effort was developed with Wieden+Kennedy.
- “Baseball is Something Else” plays on old baseball tropes, like stadium food and the excitement of opening day, while updating the experience with contemporary music and digital media. Videos, print ads and experiential activations are part of the effort, including creative showcasing new game rules.
- A new platform, known as MLB Life, is planned to showcase the crossover between baseball and culture around the world. It will comprise both real and virtual components, including a website, social media and lifestyle events.
With a wide-reaching campaign from its new agency of record, MLB may be looking to turn the tides of slipping viewership: The 2022 World Series drew 12 million views on average per game, one of the least watched championship series in history.
The new marketing push showcases the excitement of baseball at the start of a season that sees the introduction of new rules that could deliver shorter, more exciting games and counter the “baseball in boring” narrative. During spring training, when the new rules were put into action, games were shorter by an average of 26 minutes and there more stolen base attempts and successful steals, per the press release for the new campaign.
MLB has enlisted actor Bryan Cranston and MLB fan favorites to explain the new rules in a series of creative spots produced with Still Films, Wheelhouse Labs and Kimmelot, and appearing on MLB.com as well as Facebook Reels.
“Baseball is Something Else” explores different aspects of the game, from record-breaking runs to the food, in three video ads appearing on YouTube, in New York City’s Times Square, on broadcast and cable television, digital media and in ballparks.
“Overture” builds excitement for opening day, while “62” focuses on Aaron Judge’s record-breaking 62 home runs in a single season by connecting it to record-breaking players in the past. “Hot Dogs” takes a different approach entirely and focuses on the famous hot dogs served at games, showing all the toppings available, both traditional (such as ketchup) and non-traditional (such as cereal).
With the campaign, the MLB is also looking to update its digital presence. In addition to the introduction of MLB Life, updates were made to the MLB App, including a new layout and the ability to follow certain players.