None of the eight teams that made the MLB postseason this year played in an indoor environment, a bit of an anomaly for baseball in recent years. No Diamondbacks or Brewers, Rays or Astros to be seen. So with the elongated playoff format heading into colder and wetter weather, MLB has had to deal with a few rain delays already. Maybe more will come, or even a rain out or two. So with the chance of foul weather, how come no one has embraced the rain out or even the rain delay as a full blown sponsorship?
Now in the past teams have filled rain delays with video, giveaways, and sometimes the odd insurance sponsorship, but for a creative brand to come along…maybe a video game or video player, or even Nook or ipad…as the “sponsor” of rain delays would be an interesting twist. The sponsor provides an activity and giveaways to pass the time, and the sponsorship only kicks in during bad weather interruptions. It would have buzz and fun and give the sport something unique to sell that few other sports have (except auto racing, tennis and some golf), a weather interruption. Also the sell could be very cost efficient for a sponsor, as it would only kick in as a spend when the heavens open. For a sponsor looking for a bigger play, one could look to multiple teams or a whole division. Maybe there is even a grass company like Scott’s looking to expand its reach.
Last year the New York Knicks sold the last five minutes of every game to the Foxwoods Hotel and Casino, the same could be done with rain delays. Heck it’s a sponsorship that many teams hope they would never use and it makes for new real estate for in-game engagement, not just for commercial spots. There are the obligatory weather reports during the game to see when the break in the gloom comes, but putting a positive and creative spin on a nasty evening may give some extra value to fans while finding another revenue stream which is still clean, creative and worthy of lots of fun and added value. Of course grabbing a rain delay sponsor has its risks, but it could be a fun and novel way for a brand to activate, even for a few times a season. In the playoffs with some national media attention, that payoff could be even bigger.
Just a thought.