Major League Baseball, Budweiser in New Deal

With the addition of a one-game playoff between the two best runners-up in each league, Major League Baseball made an offer that one of its biggest advertisers could not refuse. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (NYSE: BUD) has agreed to be a major sponsor of the new wild-card games through 2018. The brewer also will be a major sponsor of baseball's opening week and a concert series at the game's recently opened Fan Cave in New York. The company has been an MLB sponsor for 33 years.

The estimated costs of the deal total $40 million, according to report at MarketWatch, though neither the company nor MLB would comment on the value of the deal.

A Budweiser spokesman said:

We asked the people at MLB what else can we do to promote the sport and connect ourselves with the fans. This is our No. 1 platform - baseball is the sport that Budweiser is most heavily invested in.

The answer to the question, apparently, is to add more games to the season's already interminable 162-game schedule. More games, more opportunities to sell advertising. Playoff games in baseball, as in every other sport, attract more attention than regular season games, so adding a few more games that have postseason implications is sure to gin up plenty of interest. From a fan's point of view, the new games give a couple of also-rans a second chance to wipe out the previous 162 games.

That's either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on one's point of view. But from a commercial point of view, it's definitely a bonus.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Entertainment, Food Tagged: BUD, featured