01/19/2005 11:00 AM ET
MLB Advanced Media and Major League Baseball Players Association reach exclusive agreement
Major League Baseball Advanced Media, LP. ("MLBAM"), and the Major League Baseball Players Association ("MLBPA") today announced that they have agreed to an exclusive relationship combining the personal attributes and marketing power of Major League baseball players as a group with the trademarks, symbols and logos of Major League Baseball and its teams for exploitation through interactive media. The historic agreement is expected to aggressively grow the presence and penetration of Major League Baseball and its players on the Internet and provide more robust tools and experiences for baseball fans around the world.
The five-year agreement, valued in excess of $50 million, extends beyond the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLBPA. It provides MLBAM the exclusive rights to use, and to sublicense to others, Major League baseball player group rights for the development and creation of on-line games, all other online content, including fantasy baseball and interactive games, as well as all wireless applications including cell-phone enabled games. Through this groundbreaking arrangement, MLBAM will have the right to implement off-line advertising, sponsorship and promotions in support of its on-line partners, and Major League baseball player rights will be more extensively integrated throughout the official Major League Baseball website, MLB.com, and the thirty Major League team sites for an interactive experience including fantasy baseball and other games, merchandise and memorabilia auctions featuring player autographs and other unique player items, as well as player chats, diaries and special experiences.
MLB.com will host the official MLBPA website, to be re-launched as MLBplayers.com, the Players Choice on the web. The official pages of all members of the Major League Baseball Players Association also will be hosted on MLB.com.
"This agreement will leverage both player and League rights to benefit Major League Baseball fans and business partners," said Judy Heeter, Director of Business Affairs and Licensing for the MLBPA. "We are especially pleased by all the creative opportunities it provides to expand the reach and enhance the value of the interactive experience for baseball fans everywhere."
"We are pleased to unite with the players as we continue our efforts to enhance the reach of this great game through digital media," said Bob Bowman, CEO of MLBAM.