By Barry Janoff
(Originally Published in MediaPost)
April 6, 2017: For an organization whose executives and players are on the move as much as MLB, you would think having an official freight carrier would be a natural.
Not so, until now, as MLB signed a deal today naming Old Dominion Freight Line the "official freight carrier for Major League Baseball."
The category is a league-wide first for the league, according to an MLB spokesperson.
However, the Thomasville, NC- headquartered firm does have official partnerships with seven MLB teams.
Financial details of the alliance were not released.
Old Dominion Freight Line said the new MLB partnership with MLB would "generate greater awareness and comprehension of the Old Dominion brand, drive revenue and provide engagement opportunities for all Old Dominion employees."
Among its activation, Old Dominion Freight Line plans to introduce a fleet of some 30,000 trailers with "MLB branding and baseball imagery."
The company said it would also support the MLB pact with multi-platform marketing, including ads and promos across MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media’s digital properties including MLB.com and via MLB’s official accounts on a variety of social media platforms.
In addition, Old Dominion said it would have presence at MLB jewel events such as the All-Star Game in July and during the playoffs and World Series.
The alliance’s official coming-out party is expected to take place in Chicago on April 10 when the World Series champion Cubs host the Los Angeles Dodgers in a nationally televised night game on ESPN.
Old Dominion Freight Line said there would be "a special video celebrating the World Series Trophy and the new MLB partnership," likely with the Commissioner’s Trophy being delivered to the ballpark in an Old Dominion MLB-branded freight van.
OD is considered a premium less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier, meaning it transports items of 150 lbs. or less.
"Old Dominion is excited to partner with Major League Baseball, an organization that consistently shares similar values," David Carter, vp-marketing communications for Old Dominiond, said in a statement. "Baseball is America’s pastime with a rich history of growth, entertainment, and providing a deep connection with its fans.
"Greater awareness and comprehension of the Old Dominion brand, drive revenue and provide engagement opportunities for Old Dominion employees."
"Old Dominion has grown exponentially in its 83-year history from a family run business to the leading LTL carrier in the country. Both organizations value hard work, exceptionalism and performance," said Carter.
Old Dominion MLB club partnerships include the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets and Texas Rangers.
According to Noah Garden, eva-business for MLB, "Old Dominion is an American success story with a strong reputation built on reliability and keeping promises. We are excited that Old Dominion is expanding its commitment to baseball and showcasing the partnership across a massive fleet of trailers around the country."
This marks MLB’s third new deal over the past week, including the league’s first official hot dog, Nathan’s Famous; and unveiling Coca-Cola as MLB’s official soft drink, replacing Pepsi.
MLB Pops Open Coca-Cola Deal, Leaves Pepsi Flat
Let's Be Frank: Nathan’s Famous Now Official With MLB
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