BofA dropping the MLB league deal coincides with the company putting more of an emphasis on local marketing activationGETTY IMAGES
Bank of America, which has been MLB's official bank since '04, "has left as a sponsor, taking with it a large credit card portfolio that dates much further back," according to Terry Lefton in this week's SPORTS BUSINES JOURNAL. The departing credit card brands include MBNA, acquired by BofA in '05. At its height, BofA’s “Official Bank of Baseball” platform, originally crafted by Octagon, "included sponsorships with the Baseball HOF, Little League Baseball, MLB league and clubs, and more than a hundred minor league baseball teams." Dropping the MLB league deal "coincides with more of an emphasis on local marketing activation within BofA, which continues as a corporate sponsor of some premier MLB teams, including the Orioles, Red Sox, Astros, Dodgers, Yankees, Cardinals and Giants" (SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 1/10 issue). An industry source with knowledge of the deal said MLB has already completed a new sponsorship in the banking category, which the source said is “bigger and more extensive” than the prior BofA deal. The deal will be announced before the season (Lefton).