That’s the ‘Ticket’: Royals Sign VML

BOSTON I-shop VML is branching out beyond the virtual page after picking up an integrated assignment from Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals.

The team routinely spends $500,000-1 million in annual measured media, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus, about par for the course for a professional sports franchise. The work launches next month as spring training begins and will run throughout the Midwest.

Creative running under the banner of “The ticket” will revolve around the benefits of a Royals game ticket in terms of providing affordable family fun. VML’s concepts will be adapted for TV, radio, newspapers, outdoor signage, direct marketing materials and stadium displays.

“The campaign celebrates the fans of this region, the stadium experience and the team all moving in a positive direction,” said Royals’ director of marketing Curt Nelson. The team previously handled promotions in-house.

Despite a recent history of sub-.500 American League Central Division finishes, the team enters the 2008 baseball season with new hope, stemming mainly from an ongoing $250 million renovation of Kauffman Stadium.

“As a Kansas City-area resident and longtime Royals fan, I can’t think of a more enjoyable project to work on,” said VML cd Guinotte Wise. “There’s such a positive vibe around town for the team and stadium improvements, there has been a steady stream of VML creative talent knocking on my door at the agency to help out with the project.”

VML is a WPP Group agency in Kansas City, Mo. Its client roster includes Adidas, Bayer, Burger King, Cadbury Schweppes, Colgate-Palmolive, Ford, Microsoft, Motorola and Sprint.