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MLB continues ‘Major’ push with postseason commercial

By Ted Keith
Tim Anderson of the Chicago White Sox will be featured in the spot.getty images

Major League Baseball’s annual postseason commercial has become almost as much a part of October as the games themselves. Past iterations — such as 2019’s popular “We Play Loud” spot that further emphasized the the emergence of a more expressive generation of stars — have been effective at driving home the league’s efforts to connect with younger, more diverse fans.

 

This year’s spot aims to continue that trend. Narrated by Anthony Ramos, star of “Hamilton” and “In The Heights” and featuring the song “Industry Baby” by Lil Nas X, the spot will debut next week and run throughout the postseason. It includes what Barbara McHugh, MLB’s senior vice president of marketing, called a “video game motif that is threaded throughout our postseason graphics and imagery” and will air on every social channel and across all television, OTT and global broadcasts.

The spot will also be shown in ballparks, where fans will again be able to watch the playoffs in person. Last year the pandemic limited attendance to restricted crowds of 11,500 at just the NLCS and World Series, and all games were at neutral sites.

The spot is a continuation of the “Make It Major” campaign that debuted before the season started. White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, whose “stalk off” home run in the Field of Dreams Game was a major highlight this year, was prominently featured in that ad and will be again in the new version.

Some of his fellow young stars from that first edition will not — Francisco Lindor’s Mets and Fernando Tatís’ Padres for instance, didn’t qualify — but there will still be no shortage of stars and storylines for MLB to focus on. Among them is the Los Angeles Dodgers’ quest  to become the sport’s first repeat champion since the New York Yankees won three straight titles from 1998-2000.

“Postseson baseball is just an incredibly exciting time to capitalize on major moments of our game,” said McHugh. “When you think of the incredible skill and star power from our diverse young players on the field, they’re essentially moments that are not to miss and we want to capitalize on that.”

MLB also plans to feature content provided by its inaugural, 11-person Creator Class of TikTok stars. The program already has more than 55 million views on the platform since it launched earlier this season. The league’s goal is to have all of those creators, including well-known influencers such as L.A. native Justice Mojica (@lgndfrvr, who has more than 14 million followers), at games throughout the postseason and several of them at the World Series.

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