Major League Baseball today announced the launch of a new integrated multi-media marketing campaign titled “This is Beyond Baseball,” which will celebrate baseball’s unique place in the cultural fabric of society and in the lives of fans. The campaign will launched with a special on MLB Network yesterday at 8PM ET also titled “This is Beyond Baseball,” a documentary-style program created by MLB Productions. Narrated by legendary broadcaster Vin Scully, the 30-minute program comprises a series of vignettes that communicate the magnitude of what baseball represents and that the scope of its impact goes well beyond the game on the field.
MLB Network launched in 50 million cable and satellite homes in January as the largest debut in cable television history. With live games, original programming, highlights, classic games, and coverage of baseball events, MLB Network is the ultimate television destination for baseball fans.
The program features insight and commentary from many prominent current and former players, including Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter, Cal Ripken Jr., Curtis Granderson, Derek Lee and Terry Francona, as well as a special profile of the Upton family – father Manny and sons B.J. and Justin – a unique family story of dedication and determination.
This Is Beyond Baseball is divided into four segments, focused on generational connections, ballparks revered as national treasures, community relations and cultural elements. Highlights of each segment include:
Family: Linking generation to generation, the opening segment taps into the bond baseball creates within families both on and off the field. The segment takes a close look at the Upton family, specifically Manny Upton’s relationship with his sons, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder B.J. Upton and Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton. The segment covers other baseball-family connections, including insight from Ken Griffey Jr. and Cal Ripken Jr. on the important roles their fathers played in their careers.
Ballparks: Going beyond the brick and concrete, baseball’s ballparks have become much more than mere playing fields. This segment takes an inside look into stadiums across the nation that, as Vin Scully reads, “leave an indelible impression on each and every visitor.” Featured in this segment are rarely seen areas within Dodger Stadium, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, among others, with commentary from Red Sox Manager Terry Francona, and others with personal reflections on the ballparks.
Community: The final segment of the program highlights baseball’s efforts to give back to the community. Major League Baseball’s work with The Boys and Girls Club of America as well as the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) presented by KPMG program are highlighted, as is baseball’s fight against breast cancer and prostate cancer in its tribute games on Mother’s and Father’s Day, respectively. Player commentary, including New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, is woven throughout, driving home the important role baseball and its players play in the community.
Culture: The second segment the important impact baseball and its players have played off the field over the years, with a special focus on Jackie Robinson. Cubs first baseman Derek Lee says on the show, “Barack Obama is not President without what Jackie Robinson did.” The documentary also highlights how the 2001 World Series helped bring America together following 9/11, as well as other moments over the years that transcended the game. As Vin Scully reads, “baseball is there in both times of triumph and tragedy.”