FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2004
Schumer To Baseball: Strike Two On On-Field Advertising
Senator Calls on Selig to Drop Plan to Put Advertising on Major League Baseball Bases
Schumer: National Pastime Should Belong to Fans, Not Corporate Advertisers
On-Base ad scheme comes on the heels of player uniform ad plan; trend of on field advertising threatens game’s history, integrity
US Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to drop a reported plan to put corporate advertising on Major League Baseball bases. Schumer said the plan would be a costly error.
"Baseball is America's game," Schumer wrote today in a letter to Selig. "Commercialization in the game is inevitable, but this is another step too far. Is it too much to ask that the playing surface and the players’ uniforms be kept clean of crass commercialization? The game does not need another blow like this against the purity and tradition that those of us who love Baseball so embrace and admire."
Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that all team’s hosting games the weekend of June 11-13 will be using bases in at least one weekend game sporting the logo of the movie "Spiderman 2" on first, second and third base. This announcement comes on the heels of a recently divulged plan under consideration by Major League Baseball to place advertising on player’s uniforms.
Schumer called on Selig to abandon his on-base advertising plan and argued that any marginal economic gains by Major League Baseball would be greatly outweighed by damage done to the game itself. "Selling advertising space on the bases is a huge mistake," wrote Schumer. "Any revenue that Major League Baseball would receive comes nowhere near paying for the damage that this decision will make to the league's integrity and the game's sense of history. Anyone who truly loves Baseball will realize that it is as simple as this: Keep the ads off the field and off the players’ backs."
"Imagine Joe DiMaggio charging for a first base bag bearing a 'Road to Morocco' logo as he continued his incredible hitting streak. Try picturing Jackie Robinson leading off of a base emblazoned with 'The Sands of Iwo Jima' logo before stealing home. Something tells me Bobby Thompson's 'Shot Heard Round the World' would not have seemed quite right if he had rounded the bases with 'A Streetcar Named Desire' logos underfoot," Schumer also wrote. "The images, I think you would agree, just do not work."
Schumer’s letter is attached.