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Coca-Cola ends MLB sponsorship after 3 seasons

Coca-Cola has ended its sponsorship of Major League Baseball after three seasons, due to budgetary concerns.

The soft drinks giant and MLB announced a partnership in 2017, which saw Coca-Cola taking over from rival Pepsi in a multi-year deal, having previously held sponsorships deals with 18 of the 30 clubs. PepsiCo Inc. had sponsored MLB from 1997-2016.

“Following a review of all Coca-Cola North America marketing assets at the conclusion of 2019, we made the decision to end our national sponsorship with MLB,” said company spokesman Kate Hartman. “We will continue to support 16 MLB teams at the local level.”

MLB are upping their sponsorship assets in attempt to create additional revenue and the loss of Coca-Cola will mean a significant loss in revenue.

In the latest attempt to start the 2020 season, MLB propose a 76-game regular season to be implemented, instead of the original 162 games normally played.

According to Sport Business Journal, Coca-Cola ‘will remain open at MLB this season’ due to the current state of 'the overall economy and the sports economy’.

Earlier this month, it was released that the MLB have been in advanced talks with all the franchises in the league to six new virtual signage positions on and around the field of play. The league is also considering the use of augmented reality (AR) signage to make up for missed marketing deliverables.

The virtual signage is reportedly to be positioned around the pitching mound, foul territory between the first and third-base, coaching boxes and home plate, behind home plate above the traditional rotational signage, on the 'batter’s eye', and another outfield position.

The league is also pushing for more physical signs to be used in the stadiums to increase sponsorship and marketing opportunities. However, the concerned with that is that, exposure is of a result of the broadcasting networks having the sign in shot for viewers back home to see. The league worry because that is out of their control and would not be able to complete their side of the deal.

The proposed 76-game season also will see players earn around 75% of their agreed salary.

Author: James Parker