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Written by Press Release   
Wednesday, 27 September 2006 00:55
Major League Baseball, MasterCard Worldwide announce multi-year sponsorship extension

Major League Baseball and MasterCard Worldwide yesterday announced a new global sponsorship agreement that will extend MasterCard's relationship with Major League Baseball and MLB.com through the 2010 season. The agreement includes exclusive category rights granted by Major League Baseball Properties, Major League Baseball International and MLB Advanced Media.

Along with its sponsorship of Major League Baseball, MasterCard has sponsorship alliances with 17 MLB Clubs, including a new relationship with 26-time World Series Champions the New York Yankees in 2006. This year, for the first time, MasterCard is the preferred Card of both New York-based clubs, the New York Mets and Yankees. In addition to the Yankees and Mets, MasterCard is also an official sponsor of the following Major League Baseball Clubs: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland A's, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays.

This season, 12 MLB ballparks began accepting MasterCard® PayPass, a new "contactless" payment option giving fans the chance to pay for their purchases under $25 with a simple tap of their PayPass enabled card or device on specially equipped merchant terminals. With MasterCard PayPass, sports fans spend less time standing in line or fumbling for cash at concession stands, and more time catching the onfield action. PayPass is now accepted at Yankee Stadium, Shea Stadium (Mets), Citizens Bank Park (Phillies), Turner Field (Braves), Dodger Stadium (Dodgers), PETCO Park (Padres), Busch Stadium (Cardinals), Jacobs Field (Indians), Wrigley Field (Cubs), U.S. Cellular Field (White Sox), Fenway Park (Red Sox), and Great American Ball Park (Reds).

"We are proud to renew our relationship with MasterCard, which has become an important part of our game and an integral part of our business," said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. "When we partner with a company we are searching for a brand that exhibits similar brand qualities and will work with us to market the game aggressively. MasterCard has been an outstanding partner since we began our relationship nearly a decade ago and Major League Baseball looks forward to working with them on exciting and creative marketing platforms for years to come."

As part of the agreement, MasterCard will make significant media commitments to regular season and Jewel Event Major League Baseball broadcasts. They also will be a participating sponsor at MLB All-Star FanFest, the interactive baseball theme park that opens Major League Baseball All-Star Week, and will be a title sponsor of one of the event's major attractions.

"We admire the passion Major League Baseball fans have for their favorite teams and for the game itself," said Tom Murphy, Vice President, Sponsorship, MasterCard Worldwide. "What makes our involvement in baseball truly unique is our ability to enhance the fans' experience at the ballpark. For example with MasterCard PayPass fans can quickly make purchases under $25 without fumbling for cash or signing a receipt, so they can return to their seats to enjoy the game they came to see."

MasterCard Worldwide has been an official sponsor and the preferred card of Major League Baseball Properties since 1997 and MLB Advanced Media since 2001. In the past, MasterCard has leveraged its MLB sponsorship through presenting sponsorships of high-profile comprehensive Major League Baseball platforms, including the "MasterCard Presents Major League Baseball All-Century Team" in 1999 and "MasterCard Presents Major League Baseball Memorable Moments" in 2002.

MasterCard has also been the exclusive sponsor of the MasterCard "Hit It Here" in-stadium promotion at MLB All-Star Week since 1999. The promotion includes strategically placed MasterCard "Hit It Here" banners throughout the ballpark during All-Star Week. During 2006 MLB All-Star Week in Pittsburgh, MasterCard and Major League Baseball gave a lucky fan a $500,000 annuity as part of the promotion.

In addition, MasterCard has also made it more affordable for families and friends to enjoy a day at the ballpark by offering the "MasterCard Grand Slam Ticket Pack" to cardholders in 15 Clubs around the country. Each Grand Slam Ticket Pack includes four game tickets and concessions vouchers.

About Major League Baseball Properties
The Major League Baseball Clubs formed Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) in 1966 as the Club's agent for marketing and trademark licensing and protection. Major League Baseball Properties is responsible for managing consumer licensing activities, developing national advertising campaigns, cultivating sponsorship opportunities with major consumer brands and corporations, growing the game and the business of baseball outside the United States and creating national marketing programs in conjunction with Clubs, broadcast rightsholders and national sponsors. MLBP also operates a full-service video and audio production unit (Major League Baseball Productions), a publishing division and stock photo licensing agency, and manages logistics for the All-Star Game and World Series as well as all other special events. For more information about Major League Baseball, log on to www.MLB.com.

About MLB Advanced Media, LP
Established in June 2000 following a unanimous vote by the 30 Major League Baseball club owners to centralize all of Baseball's Internet operations, MLB Advanced Media LP (MLBAM) is the interactive media and internet company of Major League Baseball. MLBAM manages the official league site, www.MLB.com, and each of the 30 individual Club sites to create the most comprehensive Major League Baseball resource on the Internet. MLB.com offers fans the most complete baseball information on the web, including up-to-date statistics, game summaries, extensive historical information, and exclusive features about Major League Baseball events and programs, including on-line ticket sales, baseball merchandise, authenticated memorabilia and collectibles, fantasy games, live and archived radio broadcasts of every game, live and archived video webcasts of entire games, pitch-by-pitch enactment of games, and hosted post-game video highlight shows.

About MasterCard Worldwide
MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link between financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes more than 14 billion payments each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial institution customers and merchants. Through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard Worldwide serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to www.mastercardworldwide.com.

 
 
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