With April the start of baseball season in America, Major League Baseball seems to garner most of the media attention. But there is a whole baseball subculture played out on Minor League Baseball fields around the country.
It is here, at smaller fields in smaller cities featuring "farm club" teams of the big leagues, that some 42 million fans attended reasonably priced games in 2009 — that's more fans than attend NFL football or NBA basketball games.
This may explain why Kraft American Singles brand of cheese has made Minor League Baseball part of its marketing strategy for the last two years, and this year is no different.
For the 2011 Minor League Baseball season, once again, a consumer who purchases Kraft American Singles and brings a package wrapper to a ball park box office on a Tuesday night can get one free ticket with a ticket purchase. The "Kraft Singles Tuesday Night Tickets" promotion will be honored by 150 teams in 30 markets.
The Tuesday Night Tickets promotion has been a home run for Kraft.
Last year, reports PROMO magazine, ticket redemption was up 43% over 2009. This year, Kraft is redoubling its efforts, sponsoring in-stadium and digital promotions, ads in programs, a special splash page on Minor League Baseball's website, and activities on Facebook. In-store and team promotions will be increased in markets where there is high attendance at the Minor League ballparks.
In a nod to the growing Hispanic market, the five teams with the highest Hispanic audiences will get bilingual signage and in-stadium activities. Also for the first time this year, Kraft is using on-package messaging to promote Minor League Baseball.
Minor League Baseball is just one promotional avenue for Kraft Singles. The brand also struck a co-branding deal with Disney On Ice for a 50% discount on tickets, redeemable through May 31. In the past, Kraft has run a "Single Best Town" contest that ties in with the brand.
The Minor League Baseball promotion gives Kraft American Singles the opportunity to keep brand awareness high and generate sales over an extended period of time. It's another example of Kraft's aggressive promotion of its brands, including its smaller brands, in an effort to keep them relevant to consumers.