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McCann Plays Up Baseball's Postseason

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NEW YORK Major League Baseball, in the midst of a season in which attendance and TV ratings have been consistently strong, will break a national campaign this week to pump up the volume for the playoffs and World Series.

The effort, via McCann Erickson in New York, is an extension of MLB's "I Live for This" campaign and uses the tagline, "8 Teams, 1 Champion: World Series." It plays off the fact that the last two champs—the Anaheim Angels and the Florida Marlins—have been wild-card teams.

The work includes four TV spots that feature Barry Bonds, Jim Edmonds, Eric Gagne and Kerry Wood, respectively, describing their desire to win. Existing "I Live for This" spots with players on playoff contenders (including Pedro Martinez, Derek Jeter, Sammy Sosa, Chipper Jones and Torii Hunter) will appear with the "8 Teams, 1 Champion" branding.

MLB will support the effort with multicultural local cable and radio spots, print ads and stadium signage. The client will also leverage national asset media during games on Fox, ESPN, TBS and ESPN Radio. Combined spending through October will exceed $20 million, according to MLB.

MLB has designated Oct. 4, the day before the playoffs begin, as "Rally Monday" and will stage fan rallies in each of the eight postseason-club markets. Events will include live music, free premiums, contests and celebrity appearances.

"You're going to see MLB marketing be more aggressive than ever," said Jacqueline Parkes, svp of advertising and marketing for MLB. "Our goal is to get fans excited about the World Series."