Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Little League Baseball and the sponsorship game

Little League has been striking deals with corporate sponsors for a long time - more than 50 years. Some of the earliest were the most crassly commercial. At the 1948 Little League World Series (then called the LL National Tournament), half the kids wore "US Keds" across their chests. The other half, "US Royals." The image of young players as Madison Avenue billboards did not go over well. The next year, the sneaker names came off the jerseys.

These days, Little League Baseball has a deep bench of corporate sponsors, from Ace Hardware to Kellogg's Frosted Flakes to Wilson Sporting Goods. However, it does not allow real kids playing in real Little League games to be pictured in advertising.

Or so I thought.

This posted to Youtube last month. So far, 272 views (and one comment, presumably from an 11-year-old: "Cool.")

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