Halfway through the Major League Baseball regular season, a study by Repucom found that efforts to speed up the pace of play have not significantly impacted sponsors. Several metrics monitored actually show positive momentum for the league, teams and sponsors.
“Total viewership, exposure times and the quality of signage contribute to the media value delivered to sponsors. A drop in any of these factors would normally cause sponsors to be negatively impacted, but we have seen the opposite. More people are watching televised games, sponsors are getting effectively showcased and teams are making adjustments to maximize the use of their sponsorship assets,”said Peter Laatz, Executive Vice President, Repucom.
The league and Major League Baseball Players Association agreed that changes were needed after the 2014 season when the average length of games stretched to more than three hours. Countdown clocks between half-innings and rules to keep batters in the box were the first changes to take effect.
So far this season, games are on average 12 minutes shorter than last season.
Despite the shorter broadcast lengths, overall in-venue sponsorship durations are even year-over-year.
The cumulative media value for all MLB team sponsors, inclusive of broadcast graphics, is up eight percent. Total sponsor time-on-screen is up four percent.
MLB teams’ most valuable sponsorship location is the rotating board behind home plate. It is visible in the most dominant broadcast camera angle and has appeared on screen an average of 47 minutes per game this season.
“The New York Yankees made a strategic decision to expand the home plate rotational signage space with additional rotating boards. As a result, they are experiencing more than two times the league average time-on-screen for that location,”said Laatz.
The Yankees lead the league for total media value delivered to sponsors.
TOP 5 SPONSORSHIP LOCATIONS IN MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
TOP MLB TEAMS BY CUMULATIVE SPONSORSHIP DURATION IN 2015
For total time on screen, sponsors of the Cleveland Indians have accumulated the most television time.
- Cleveland Indians
- Los Angeles Angels
- Houston Astros
- New York Mets
- San Diego Padres
As a whole, MLB average television ratings are up more than four percent and 18 teams have seen positive growth in their local home market viewership. The biggest movers include the Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres and New York Mets. The Astros moved to a new local broadcast partner for this season.