Following in the footsteps of the NFL and its multi-day music programming at the Super Bowl, Major League Baseball is aiming to engrain music performances into the World Series scene. MLB exec VP of business, Tom Brosnan, the champion of the league’s campaign to add music as a “warm-up” to the World Series, sees the sporting event as a “popular iconic, cultural venue” and envisions “…a day where every World Series game is a mini-festival unto itself.”
In an effort to model the NFL’s success with music programming, baseball execs will look to the league’s plan for Jan. 2014’s Super Bowl in New Jersey. The NFL has teamed up with VH1 to host six concerts in the weeks leading up to the biggest sporting event of the year. The “VH1 Super Bowl Blitz” will feature a show in each NYC borough as well as a performance in NJ. According to Rick Krim, VH1’s exec VP of talent and music programming, each show will be an underplay (well-known artists playing in smaller venues) and free tickets will be given away during the days leading up to the show. In addition to VH1’s platform, several other NFL sponsors are planning music activations during the week. Specifically, Citi and Anheuser-Busch are prepping big-budget shows to take place in iconic NYC venues.
Although Major League Baseball remains behind the NFL in terms of music activation at the sports’ biggest events, the league does incorporate music into its brand. MLB’s all-star weekend featured performances from Mariah Carey, Pitbull, and Marc Anthony. Baseball’s advanced media division acquired digital distribution rights to the Global Citizen Festival in New York. Additionally, the MLB Fan Cave was the venue for a private post-season concern featuring acclaimed EDM artist, Avicii. And while no live performance seems to be in the works for this year’s World Series, baseball fans can expect to hear plenty of Pearl Jam on their television. The band’s recently released album, Lightning Bolt, will soundtrack this month’s coverage of the playoffs on Fox Sports.