MLB Partner Scotts Throws First MLB TikTok Pitch Via ‘Opening Week In The Yard’ Sweepstakes

Scotts MLB Opening Week

Scotts, the Official Lawn Care Partner of Major League Baseball (MLB), activated its rights around the start of the new 2021 season through a sweepstakes style contest called ‘Opening Week In The Yard’ which not only sees 30 fans win game-used bases from the first week of MLB games, but also see it become the first brand to activate on MLB’s TikTok channel.


The lawn care brand Scotts pays homage to Opening Day via a social campaign which incentivised fans to upload videos (of no longer than 60 seconds) to TikTok, Instagram or Twitter using the #OpeningWeekintheYard hashtag showing how they are celebrating the season’s opening week in their own back gardens and yards in a campaign which partly plays upon the popular TikTok #TellMeWithoutTellingMe trend.


Entries were accepted from will be accepted from 1 through 7 April and the 30 winners will be announced on 12 April: each receiving a game-used base from MLB’s opening week.


The initiative was promoted via TV and digital video, images and supporting content amplified across both Scotts and MLB online platforms and the hero social spot featured several MLB stars including Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman and his young son Charlie Freeman.







The campaign was created by a team at MLB Networks which included producer and director Michael Furno, writer Steve Miller, Editor (Instagram and TikTok) Chris Johnson, Editor (TV spot) Sean Sohl, with graphics handled by Jeff Clark and the Director of Photography was Atlanta Braves Kevin Liles.





The sponsor activation sees Scotts become the first brand to activate on the MLB’s new TikTok channel which is the league’s latest tactical addition to engage Gen Z. The goal here seems to be to for the league and one of its brand partners to seek to reach a younger audience on a youth-focused channel by showing a player not simply as a star athlete but also as a father in a bid to create an emotional connection with the viewer that encourages deeper engagement.


Of course, for Scotts, the spot also evokes the green grasses of every MLB ballpark.


Scotts is a long-time MLB partner in a tie-up that began in 2010 and it was in March 2019 that the league last extended the partnership which saw Scotts continue in the role as the MLB’s Official Lawn Care Partner with marketing rights across and the MLB Network.


As well as the Opening Day contest, Scotts continue to act as an Official Partner of ‘MLB Play Ball’: the league’s grassroots initiative to encourage more young people and communities to set up local leagues and tournaments. As part of this deal, the sponsor runs the ‘Scotts Field Refurbishment Program’ which awards grants to youth-focused community organisations to renovate local ballparks.


This refurbishment programme is part of Scott’s ‘Gro More Good’ initiative to connect children to more outdoor play opportunities by enhancing community greenspaces.


While, for the league itself, following the lowest-viewed World Series in many years (possibly in history), MLB is now hoping to attract a younger generation of viewers by energizing its presence on TikTok and the league has also recently launched ‘Game Stories’ via Google.


This is a new video-based storytelling platform similar to Instagram stories that can be accessed directly through Google search and which also allows partners to utilize short-form creative. MLB typically aligns a partner with a relevant piece of content that makes the most sense based on its product or service and thus far the league has signed up a number of its existing partners including T-Mobile, Geico, Bank of America, Chevrolet, The Hartford and Mastercard and each receives brand attribution throughout the stories by way of branding and short-form video.




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