By Barry Janoff
March 26, 2014: In a battle of consumer packaged goods companies, and one that will specifically pit brands in the laundry room, Church & Dwight has signed what was called a multi-year, multi-category sponsorship agreement making its Arm & Hammer and OxiClean products the "official laundry detergent and stain remover (respectively) of Major League Baseball.
The alliance is the largest sponsorship deal for Church & Dwight and the first-of-its kind for MLB Properties across several categories, including fabric, pet and oral care, according to both sides.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
MLB's strategy appears to be an effort to mirror the multi-platform alliance between the NFL and Procter & Gamble, which began in 2009, and has come to include such P&G brands as Febreze, Gillette, Duracell, Head & Shoulders and Tide, which is the official laundry detergent of the NFL.
Procter & Gamble has an alliance with MLB via its Head & Shoulders brand, which is the official shampoo of the league.
The multi-year agreement with Dwight & Church gives Arm & Hammer and OxiClean the use of MLB logos, official sponsorship status and team relationships. Dwight & Church said it would support he alliance with MLB-themed national ad campaigns, POP and a national consumer sweepstakes for chances to win MLB merchandise, game tickets and a new car.
In addition, Church & Dwight said it would develop licensed products in the oral care category and have in-stadium activation "at select MLB ballparks throughout the regular season and at signature MLB events including the All-Star Game and World Series."
Church & Dwight’s team partners will include the New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins and Cincinnati Reds. The Twins will host the 2014 All-Star Game in Target Field and the Reds will host the 2015 All-Star Game in Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati is also the headquarters of P&G.
“The Church & Dwight family of brands are leaders in their respective industries and have a proven track record of being popular among the same families that fill our ballparks in record numbers each year,” Tim Brosnan (pictured, left), evp-business for MLB, said in a statement. “We are proud that they have chosen Major League Baseball for the most significant sports sponsorship in their company’s long history.”
Church & Dwight’s alliance will extend to MLB’s “Breaking Barriers” program, to which they will make an annual donation of $150,000 from 2014-2016. The program recognizes students, in grades 4-9 "who demonstrate incredible perseverance in facing barriers and challenges in their own lives" via an essay contest developed and administered by a group that includes Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson.
According to Jim Craigie (pictured, right), CEO for Ewing, NJ-based Church & Dwight, “This partnership allows us to combine the power of two great American icons to reach families in a new way,” said . “Whether young or old, player or spectator, baseball is a sport inextricably linked with having fun and getting dirty- and no brands can better solve for the getting dirty aspect than Arm & Hammer and OxiClean.”
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