FCB Throws Out the First Pitch

Just in time for Opening Day, FCB here has launched its first campaign for Major League Baseball.

The $25-30 million effort, which broke nationwide over the weekend, includes a teaser TV spot titled “Anthem” that features images of baseball players, fans and legends. The campaign will continue with a series of public-service announcements for the charities baseball supports and spots plugging the league’s apparel and Web site.

“The relationship fans have with baseball is emotional,” said Tim Brosnan, evp of business for MLB. “The intent of this campaign is to celebrate the connections.”

Agency and league executives said the Opening Day spot, tagged “Connect with it,” is just the beginning of a larger campaign that will include more TV and radio spots as well as promotional work in local markets. MLB had previously been handled by Vigilante, a New York-based unit of Leo Burnett in Chicago.

“The 2001 campaign for Major League Baseball reminds us all of what we love about the game,” said Patrick Kiss, evp and account director at FCB. “There is a great emotional connection to baseball, and this year’s advertising helps each viewer identify and grow those feelings.”

“Connect with it” will be the tagline for the entire MLB brand, including its image and PSA advertising and consumer products.

The “Anthem” spot was developed by creative directors Brad Berg and Scott Larson.

FCB won the MLB business last year. The agency also works with the Oakland Athletics franchise.