Advertisers Bet Big MLB’s Field of Dreams Game Will Be Must-See TV
Fox set an ad revenue record around Thursday's game between the Yankees and White Sox
Advertisers are betting big that when the White Sox face the Yankees in primetime this Thursday on Fox, during the MLB at Field of Dreams game, hardball heads and Costner crazies will be tuning in to watch in droves.
According to the Sports Business Journal, Fox has set a Major League Baseball ad sales revenue record around the Field of Dreams game and will take in more cash from the one-off event than from any other regular-season game during the network’s 25-year relationship with MLB. Per Fox Sports Executive VP of Sports Sales Seth Winter, ad sales revenue from the game in Dyersville, Iowa, will more than double the revenue from the No. 2 regular-season game on the network.
Winter, who used to work in ad sales for NBC and was at the network when it aired the NHL’s first Winter Classic game in 2008, said the brand excitement around Thursday’s game reminded him of the anticipation before the first edition of hockey’s now-annual New Year’s Day event.
“Field of Dreams is becoming a little bit of that to baseball,” Winter told SBJ. “It was an event that was created to keep fan interest and do something unique and different. If baseball asks us, we love it. There are so many great rivalries in baseball, why not bring great rivalries every year?”
For now, the game — and the Apple Pie Hot Dog that Guy Fieri has created for it — are slated to be one-time occurrences. But if viewers tune in the way advertisers expect them to it seems more than likely that MLB will rethink that stance and turn the Field of Dreams game into an annual event.
Postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic, the Field of Dreams game will be played on a regulation ballfield in a stadium with a maximum capacity of 8,000 fans. It will be the first-ever regular-season MLB game in Iowa.
“The White Sox will be the home team in the matchup because of their role in the 1989 Field of Dreams movie, in which the ghosts of ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson and other members of the 1919 Black Sox play on the diamond in the Iowa cornfield,” per MLB.
For those who can’t attend, a live feed of a view of the field has been loaded onto the internet here. “The views change regularly, so visit often,” per the page. “You might just see the fog rolling out of the corn onto the outfield one summer evening! You might even see a few Ghost Players! No matter where you are watching from, we hope you enjoy and that this serves as a reminder to never stop dreaming and go the distance!”
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