Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Hit Baseball Tour Offers 2006 Sponsorships to Family-Focused Brands

Hit Baseball Tour Offers 2006 Sponsorships to Family-Focused Brands

ESI's Principal Family Fun Fest Announces Plans for Growth in 2006

New York, NY (PRWEB) July 16, 2005

The Principal Family Fun Fest is the world largest touring baseball fan festival. Entertainment & Sports International first produced the event in 2004, visiting 53 minor league baseball clubs and attracting over a quarter of a million people.

The tourÂ’s title sponsor is the Principal Financial Group who in 2004 attributed over $4 million in new business sales to the event. Other sponsors include Microsoft Xbox, Topps Trading Cards, Fox All Access radio, Turner South and retail giant Best Buy.

Minor league clubs welcome the event which is provided free to the team in return for promotional support. It provides added value to the fans and enhances their game experience. In addition the team is able to generate incremental revenue from tour related activities and promotions. In 2005 the tour will visit 56 teams for a total of 61 event days and is proving to have a positive effect on attendance in many markets.

ESI is now making plans for an even bigger and better production for 2006. “We strive to make the event different each year as over 50% of our stops are repeats from the previous year,” said ESI co-president Joe Owens, “we have a lot of surprises in store for 2006 and are looking for family oriented brands to join the tour”.

Sponsors receive a wide variety or benefits from the traditional signage, tickets and hospitality, to creative activation concepts specifically designed for the brand by ESI. A unique aspect of the ESI sponsorships is that they include on-site activation.

“We don’t feel it’s appropriate to charge a brand for the right to associate with the event and then to charge them again to leverage the association with consumers”, said Owens.

2005 has seen another innovation for the tour which allows The Principal to bring it’s sponsorship into the stadium from the parking lot. ESI created the Principal 401-K Challenge, a competition among teams to be the first to reach the 401 “K” or strikeout mark at home during the season. Baseball America Magazine is maintaining statistics for the competition and fans can vote for their favorite at www. prinicpal. com/funfest (http://www. prinicpal. com/funfest) and qualify for a $5,000 grand prize. Sponsor Best Buy is also executing in-stadium promos in selected markets with hundreds of gift cards as well as a Microsoft Xbox system and game being offered as prizes.

ESI is in the process of contacting companies with several sponsorship packages designed to fit every brand budget. The 2005 tour is on target to reach over 350,000 people at events and millions more through media and promotions and ESI anticipates that 2006 will be an even bigger year for the tour. “Our goal is to create awareness and sales opportunities for our sponsors by providing an event that supports an important element of the community, the local minor league ball club”, said Owens. “Our event is unique in that it truly a local marketing opportunity that is national in scope”.

ESI hopes to have its lineup of sponsors and teams for 2006 ready for announcement at the Winter Baseball Meetings in December. The 2006 Principal Family Fun Fest will launch in April and continue through the end of the season in September.

The Principal Financial Group (The Principal ®) is a leader in offering businesses, individuals and institutional clients a wide range of financial products and services, including retirement and investment services, life and health insurance and banking through its diverse family of financial services companies. A member of the Fortune 500, the Principal Financial Group has $168.7 billion in assets under management and serves some 14.9 million customers worldwide from offices in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. Principal Financial Group, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PFG. For more information, visit www. principal. com.

Entertainment & Sports International (ESI) is a partnership of two experienced sports and entertainment executives who have worked with some of the best known entertainment brands of the past two decades. From offices in New York and West Palm Beach, Fla., the company creates and produces distinctive and proprietary sports and entertainment properties and events. www. esimarketing. com

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