MLB, Bank of America Strike a Deal

NEW YORK Major League Baseball and Bank of America today said they have signed a deal making the financial institution the “Official Bank of Baseball.”

Bank of America’s association with MLB includes national agreements with Major League Baseball Properties, Minor League Baseball and Little League Baseball. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the agreement with MLBP, which begins immediately and continues through the 2008 season, Bank of America will receive exclusive rights in its category, including the license of intellectual property rights, extensive broadcast and onsite branding opportunities and hospitality at MLB jewel events such as the All-Star Game, the Division Series, the League Championship Series and the World Series. Bank of America signed a four-year national sponsorship agreement with Little League Baseball to become the exclusive “Official Banking Partner of Little League.”

Bank of America will launch its MLB sponsorship by immediately assuming the presenting sponsorship of the National League and American League Player of the Week Awards. By promoting this sponsorship element through existing partnerships with Fox, ESPN and Fox Sports Net, Bank of America and MLBP expect to generate extensive national and local market media exposure for this award.

Bank of America has had a long-standing relationship with the game of baseball. Bank of America currently sponsors nine MLB clubs and 11 Minor League Baseball teams. Bank of America also sponsors 13 Fox Sports Net regional baseball networks.

Deutsch in New York, an Interpublic Group agency, is the bank’s lead agency. The client spends about $200 million annually on ads.

In addition, Bank of America is the lead arranger and provider of capital for MLB, and serves as the lead bank for its $1.4 billion league-wide credit facility used by 20 of the 30 MLB clubs. Bank of America has individual banking relationships with 10 MLB clubs, as well as commercial banking relationships with companies that have significant business relationships with baseball.