Mars sponsors Washington Nationals The Nationals have signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with Mars, Inc., with the candy maker promoting several of its brands including Skittles and M&M's through the team and Nationals Park. The Virginia-based company will receive a wide variety of assets including outfield wall, home plate rotational and scoreboard signage, inventory on TV and radio broadcasts and a large sign on a parking garage adjacent to the ballpark. It also will stock product in all premium seating locations as part of a program entitled “Sweets in the Suites.” Mars will gain Skittles branding on Nationals Park field tarps and the club will give away Skittles to one seating section after each home rain delay as part of an effort to tie the brand’s “Taste The Rainbow” slogan to the end of a rain delay. Financial terms were not disclosed, but the agreement is an outgrowth of the club’s search for a naming-rights partner for Nationals Park. “We’ve been going through a rigorous effort to identify potential companies of interest for the naming rights opportunity, and while that process is still ongoing, it has yielded fruits in other ways such as this partnership with Mars, and this is a really significant deal for us,” said Nationals Chief Revenue & Marketing Officer Valerie Camillo. A deal announced earlier this year with MGM National Harbor also began through the Nationals’ naming-rights search. Mars will gain designations as the official chocolate, gum, mint, and confection partner of the club. The parties have previously collaborated on efforts such as the M&M’s Opera in the Outfield that showed Washington National Opera performances from the Kennedy Center on the Nationals Park videoboard. “This is our home market, and we’re really looking to deepen our ties to the DC community and let people know we’re part of this community,” said Mars Chocolate North America VP/Sponsorships & Sports Marketing William Clements.
White House Historical Association signs deal with Washington Nationals The Nats have long embraced their status as the capital’s team, playing up their politico fanbase, sprinkling images of federal buildings into their promotional materials and having giant-headed presidential mascot creatures run around their stadium and represent the franchise in public. The historical love only expanded when giant William Howard Taft arrived; the presidents are now an invaluable part of the team’s marketing strategy. And so this week brings the next step: a formal, multi-year partnership with the White House Historical Association. Included in this partnership: a Calvin Coolidge bobblehead giveaway this season, signage on the Nationals Park left-field garage honoring a Coolidge first pitch, in-game White House history quizzes and the sale of the annual Official White House Christmas ornament. This year’s ornament honors Coolidge (and prominently features baseball imagery). A Nats press release notes that “Coolidge is recognized as being closely tied to the Washington Senators during his administration,” that first lady Grace Anna Goodhue Coolidge “was known as the First Lady of Baseball, and that “Coolidge Luck was often touted for the Senators winning two of their three pennants while he was in office.” The WHHA is a non-profit, non-partisan educational group supported by private donations. It has not previously partnered with professional sports teams. The partnership is expected to have further elements, although I’m not sure it can get much better than a Silent Cal bobblehead. (NYT archives)