Marketing. Ploy.

Actual words from the Rawlings website about the Rawlings Gold Glove award, and a bit of editing to update it.

“Just over 50 years ago, a Rawlings sales manager named Elmer Blasco made the observation that well over half of the pros in the game wore a Rawlings glove. It didn’t take him long to realize that Rawlings should create an award that recognized defensive excellence that Rawlings could sell even more baseball gloves if it created an award to recognize ballplayers with star power.”

“If the award recipient is a Rawlings sponsored player, they will receive a gold version of their game day model on their award. Other winners will receive a generic gold Rawlings model Other winners would do well to be a Rawlings sponsored player ’cause we’ll give them crappy awards if they aren’t.

And the best:

“The storied history of the Rawlings Gold Glove Award has inspired a new class of athletes a new class of athletes, assuming the winners from last year didn’t help us sell a bunch of ball gloves to attempt jaw-breaking plays and acrobatic snags in the dirt; all in the hopes of taking home the gold. Never mind the getting to the World Series thing. More than 50 years later, the Rawlings Gold Glove Award remains the game’s greatest measure of defensive excellence greatest measure of marketing excellence and its legacy is sure to live on for years to come because the people writing the copy for this website assume baseball fans will never figure out our marketing ploy.

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  1. Elizabeth Ross said...

    I hate how sponsored EVERY aspect of baseball has become. I find it so distasteful to go to the ballpark or watch a game on TV and see every possible square inch of the stadium covered with advertisements. I recognize that the owners need to make money and stay competitive. But it seems they have sold their souls to do so. (And they will still claim they can’t make any money so they can cut payroll and raise ticket prices.)

    It is at every level too. The big companies sponsor MLB baseball as a whole. The networks that carry the games have their own sponsors. You simply cannot escape it.

    You have just touched on the tip of the iceberg, my friend.

  2. Rocket J. Squirrel said...

    Park sponsorship is not new, which can be noted from photos of ballparks taken in the early 20th century (e.g., the Bull Durham signs).  When Anheuser-Busch purchased Sportsmans Park in 1953, they removed all outfield wall advertising.  This was unprecedented and a practice not adopted by other teams.  It’s unlikely there are many who disagree with you and I’m in your camp, though at this point in life don’t dwell on it.  I have wondered, however, how a father would answer the question posed by his 10 year old daughter, “Dad, what’s Viagra?” as the sign used to rotate behind home plate, at least in the St. Louis ballpark in one of the most tasteless, crass quests for the advertising dollar.

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