Turner Sports Preps MLB Playoff Pitch

NEW YORK Turner Sports this week will break a campaign to support the first year of its deal with Major League Baseball, which gives Turner Broadcasting System exclusive rights to televise in alternating seasons the National League and American League Championship Series. The deal begins this October when TBS will air the NLCS.

The campaign, handled in-house, is anchored by a two-and-a-half minute spot featuring Jon Bon Jovi onstage, singing a live version of “I Love This Town,” interspersed with MLB action from various teams and TBS signage. The full version will run in cinemas on more than 6,400 screens beginning Aug. 31 at theaters including Regal, United Artists, Edwards and Georgia Theatre. Shorter versions will air on TBS and sister networks.

Print will run in September issues of publications including Stuff, Sports Illustrated and USA Today. Outdoor will appear this week in Atlanta, New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Diego, featuring MLB players from eastern, midwestern and western markets, respectively. There’s also a Hispanic component. Internet ads will launch Oct. 1. Tag: “The new home of MLB post-season.” Spend for the effort was not disclosed.

The seven-year deal gives TBS exclusive rights to the NLCS in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 and the ALCS in 2008, 2010 and 2012. Fox has exclusive rights to air the NLCS and ALCS in opposite order. Former MLB players Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr., both of whom were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame this year, will work on TBS as color analyst and studio analyst, respectively.

“Bon Jovi’s song speaks to the passion of home towns, so it’s the perfect vehicle for this campaign,” said Jenny Storms, svp, marketing and programming at Turner Sports, Atlanta. Lyrics include: “I feel alive when I’m walkin’ on the street/I feel the heart of the city poundin’ underneath my feet.”