McCann to Tout MLB Network

NEW YORK Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson here has expanded its relationship with Major League Baseball, adding ad chores for MLB Network, the league’s cable and satellite TV franchise that launched on Jan. 1.

The assignment covers creative development and strategic planning. Ad spending was not disclosed. MLB spent $22 million in measured media in the first 10 months of 2008 after spending about that much through all of 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Mediastorm in Norwalk, Conn., handles buying chores for MLB Network.

The ad launch will be in mid-February or early March and creative is now in the planning stages, a McCann rep said.

Tony Petitti, president and CEO of MLB Network, said in a statement that McCann was tapped because it has “consistently created campaigns that are both memorable and effective [for the league]. They share our passion for baseball here at MLB Network and have a deep understanding of the game and its fans.” McCann in New York has been MLB’s lead agency since 2002.

MLB Network launched in 50 million households and offers original programming, highlights and classic games in addition to live game coverage during the league’s season.