Baseball’s Spider-Sense-Tingling Marketing

As a baseball fan and a comic book fan, I’m less than thrilled by the announcement that their going to be putting ads on the bases (except for home base) promoting Spider-Man 2 from June 11-13, 2004. Read about it in this Fox News story (Internet Archive).

Major League Baseball apparently thinks that this will bring new, younger, hipper (and apparently advertising addicted) fans to the game. And yet, when was the last time you heard anyone shouting “yeah, give me more ads!” … even if you do get a free Spiderman mask that day at the stadium. I don’t care if you’re 16 or 60, in a world inundated with spam and other assorted junk mail messages, the last thing I think anyone is clamoring for is Spidey’s face on first base.

However, it’s a business decision for MLB, and while I disagree with it, and think that it will alienate more fans than it will ever make, it is their decision to make (just as its my decision not to watch those particular games).

Of course, the fact that it’s MLB’s right to run their own games into the ground doesn’t stop Ralph Nader from grabbing a little face time, and railing against rabid commercialism in ummm, a commercial venture. No doubt if he were elected president, he’d nationalize baseball (it is the national past time right?) equalize salaries on all teams (reducing everyone to a “living wage”), ban all advertising and revenue streams, and then wonder why Americans suddenly developed an interest in cricket.

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