Jan 9, 2013

Number four in the country, number one in Major League Baseball.

T-Mobile, the number four mobile carrier in the country has signed a multi-year marketing and technology deal with Major League Baseball which will name the company as the Official Wireless Sponsor of Major League Baseball. The partnership with T-Mobile marks the first time MLB has partnered with a major wireless provider in more than a decade.

Under the agreement, T-Mobile with partner with baseball’s advanced media arm, MLBAM, to create a new On-Field Communication system for Major League Baseball. The system, which will begin to roll out in 2013 will provide a wireless voice system between the dugout and bullpens.

“We look forward to working with Major League Baseball and are excited they have chosen T-Mobile’s technology to power a new, in-game communication system at ballparks across the country,” said Mike Sievert, chief marketing officer, T-Mobile USA. “Unlike a typical sponsorship, we’re approaching this partnership as a collaboration in which T-Mobile, MLB and MLBAM will work together to evolve the game with exciting new technology innovation enhancing the experience for customers and fans.”

Under the partnership with MLBAM, T-Mobile will also utilize the company’s nationwide 4G network to enhance network coverage for fans at MLB ballparks. One can assume that this will be touted throughout the 2013 MLB season, especially as more team look to not only utilize in-game social media but are completely immersed in the idea of utilizing social media to spark fan engagement.

“T-Mobile has made a significant commitment to Major League Baseball across our game and business and its innovative drive and expertise in wireless technology will be an outstanding addition to the baseball industry,” said Tim Brosnan, MLB executive vice president, business. “T-Mobile has been an impact player in the wireless industry and we look forward to their innovative spirit positively influencing the game and the way fans enjoy it.”

As to be expected, the deal will also lead to a revamping of MLB’s highly popular ‘AtBat’ mobile application, with both MLBAM and T-Mobile working to not only enhance the digital experience but create more customized content for their users and develop various promotional opportunities and mobile-based offers.

“The underpinning of a partnership with a key provider like T-Mobile mirrors baseball’s long-held belief in leveraging and implementing wireless technology to deliver first-rate products and services to the industry and our fans,” said Bob Bowman, president and chief executive officer, MLBAM. “T-Mobile will play an important role as we continue that focus on bringing top-notch content, connectivity and customizable experiences to consumers wherever they are.”

The agreement, which is worth upwards of $125 million over three years according to Sports Business Daily, will include partnerships between T-Mobile and various MLB national broadcast partners including FOX, Turner, MLB Network and ESPN. T-Mobile will be the new presenting sponsor of ESPN’s Wednesday Night Baseball and will also be referenced in various features on ESPN’s flagship baseball show, Baseball Tonight.

Aside from their now over-arching deal with Major League Baseball, T-Mobile currently acts as a sponsor for two of the more tech-savvy baseball teams, the Seattle Mariners and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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