HBO has not set a firm date to begin Season 7, but has said that it will take place this summer.
Specific promotional offerings have yet to be determined — and will vary by team. But they’ll include development of collectible and co-branded merchandise, ticket packages, giveaways, theme nights, and social media events.
“We’ve had a longstanding partnership with HBO” whose HBO Now streaming service is powered by MLB’s BAMTech technology platform, says the league’s EVP of Business Noah Garden.
Although MLB and individual teams have staged smaller promotions with Disney’s Marvel and Star Wars, “this was something we could do on a much larger scale with a partner we’re much closer to,” he says.
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There will be “a tremendous amount of tie-ins, not to mention what’s going to happen locally with each club.”
They will split revenues, although they are not disclosing more specific financial terms.
MLB still has “no idea” when the new GoT season will begin, he adds.
The promotions will not take place during baseball’s All Star Game, but will cross over to MLB’s apps and digital properties.
The deal works for MLB because GoT will introduce the new episodes in the middle of the baseball season. In addition, it will appeal to millennials — a group that the league wants to reach.
Garden says that baseball is already popular with young adults, but that’s often overlooked because there’s so much focus on TV ratings.
“What people fail to look at when it comes to MLB is that we were the first to stream our games online and the first to launch an app — long before any other sport did,” Garden says. “Our millennials went to those platforms right away….The curse is that it gave the perception to some that we’ve become an older sport, which really couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
The cross promotion with GoT “starts to tell a different story.”
Teams that currently plan to participate include the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, Kansas City Royals, Miami Marlins, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals.
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