To spearhead the latest iteration of its ‘My Team My Colors’ campaign, Major League Baseball kit supplier Majestic Athletic invited a team of its star baseball ambassadors to each paint a canvas depicting their MLB city using only their own team colours and the tools of their trade.
The pitchers hurled paint-spattered baseballs at the canvas, while the hitters swung away with their bats as they created their very own works of art – pieces which reflect their teams, their sport and express their personalities.
The initial wave of pre-release imagery taken during a photo shot shows Noah Syndergaard pitching a baseball covered in signature Mets blue at a canvas of New York City, while Giancarlo Stanton is getting his arm painted red and Kevin Pillar is swinging blue paint at a canvas depicting the Toronto skyline.
The resulting art works are debuting on the brand’s own multimedia platforms, as well as across the MLB website, the league’s various network, at league and team venues across the country and at selected retailer partners.
While some of the athlete endorsers fronting the campaign teased the content on their own social channels,
— Noah Syndergaard (@Noahsyndergaard) January 13, 2017
the core content roll out will begin its main launch phase during MLB’s Opening Week.
The initiative focuses on the ever-growing choice of MLB jerseys through design and color.
Majestic’s initiative aims to generate excitement around the new 2017 baseball season and drive shirt sales by focusing on the deep-rooted connections between team jerseys, players, fans, and their home cities.
The performance apparel outfit selected a 30-strong roster of player ambassadors – one from each MLB club – including some of the megastars of the sport such as Noah Syndergaard, Miguel Cabrera, Francisco Lindor, Giancarlo Stanton, Nolan Arenado, and Joc Pederson.
‘We wanted to tell a dynamic story in an unexpected way with great energy and passion. This campaign will expand our social ecosystem because it’s just so vibrant and fun. The players were covered in paint and they loved it,’ explains Majestic’s marketing VP David Goerke.
‘We are fortunate to have a group of top MLB player ambassadors that wear cutting edge, on-field product providing a broad color pallet,’ he adds.
‘Majestic has engineered a fun and creative campaign to start the season,” echoes Noah Garden, MLB Executive Vice President, Business.
‘It’s great to see so many of our game’s top young players in this atmosphere, showing their personalities. This campaign is a great showcase for the great, young talent in MLB and we think our fans will enjoy it.’
With players taking such a prominent role in the campaign, this is actually a tri-partite initiative between the league, the jersey supplier and the Major League Baseball Players Association.
‘Our guys respond positively to creative storytelling through music, art and fashion. I attended the Majestic shoots in Los Angeles and there was literally paint flying off the bats and balls,’ adds MLBPA Director Evan Kaplan.
‘The players were very engaged, enjoyed the creative process, and it’s reflected in the finished product.’
Combining multiple entertainment silos, particularly sport and music, is increasingly common in contemporary activation – but by throwing in art and even fashion in this kind of personal expression of creativity is unusual, if not entirely the first-of-its-kind in sports marketing claimed by the brand.
This year’s campaign follows on from the brand’s 2016 ‘My Team My Colours’ campaign led by a hero TV spot.
Majestic Athletic, which designs, markets and manufactures performance athletic apparel, team uniforms, outerwear and licensed athletic wear, is the official on-field uniform of Major League Baseball and the league has been aligned with the brand since 1982 and has held the position of official uniform provider since 2005.
It is also licensed by the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA), National Football League (NFL), National Basketball Association (NBA), and National Hockey League (NHL).
The 2017 is the latest iteration of ‘My Team My Colors’ which has run for the last few years.
But what marks this new phase out from previous seasons is that it is the first to launch since the MLB announced it was switching uniform providers to Under Armour when the current Majestic deal (extended in 2015) expires after the 2019 season.
The new deal, reported to be worth X, is part of MLB’s drive to connect with younger fans.
When the MLB-Under Armour deal was announced, NC based VF Corp said it was in ‘ongoing, productive talks with Major League Baseball with a collective goal to ensure that VF’s Easton, Pa., facility continues to produce on-field uniforms for MLB for a very long time’.
A statement that led to some market watchers have even speculated that the deal might lead to UA buying Majestic from parent company VF Corp.
While the MLB’s 10-year UA partnership doesn’t start for another three years, the brand is already active across the sport’s marketing landscape.
Indeed, ahead of the new 2017 season Under Armour has been rolling out a new baseball themed campaign called ‘Road To Ready’: a direct reference to players preparing for the season and perhaps an indirect one to UA gearing up to become the official uniform provider.
This campaign is spearheaded by an elite set of UA ballplayer endorsers – each of whom stars in their own new season preparation promotion.
These include Brian Dozier’s ‘Locking In – Road To Ready’ (launched on 20 March).
Justin Verlander’s ‘Still bringing It – Road To Ready’ (also launched on 20 March)
plus Rick Porcello’s ‘Its The Work That Matters – Road To Ready’ (22 March)
and Jackie Bradley’s ‘Gotta Go Hit – Road To Ready’ (27 March).