Canadian telecomms firm Mitel has been announced as the title partner of Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) first two London Series’ in 2019 and 2020.
The deal expands a multi-year partnership inked in February this year, which saw Mitel become the MLB’s Official Technology & Communications Partner, adding to existing relationships with a number of teams in the league.
Now the Mitel brand is set to be embedded in all branding, marketing and activation around the historic pair of two-game sets to be played at the London Stadium over the next two summers – the first-ever MLB games to be staged in Europe.
London Stadium, the centerpiece of the 2012 Olympic Games, will take on a baseball configuration with an estimated capacity of 57,000 as the UK becomes only the fifth country outside north America to host regular season MLB games, joining Mexico, Japan, Puerto Rico and Australia.
The partnership announcement was made with some fanfare at a media event in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park venue, which will host the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees for the landmark first games in June.
Yankees’ legend Alex Rodriguez, one of baseball’s biggest crossover stars, was flown in to participate in the launch.
Commenting on the agreement, Rich McBee, Mitel president and CEO, said: “We are privileged to power the communications and collaboration needs of MLB during the London Series.
“Our heritage runs deep across the UK and Europe, so the chance to help share the game of baseball at the highest level represents a truly unique opportunity for our customers, partners and employees. We look forward to establishing a world-class experience in partnership with MLB.”
Earlier this year, Mitel transformed the 30 MLB Clubs’ independent platforms for dugout, bullpen, video review rooms and press box communications into a common, unified system featuring enhanced security and call recording capabilities.
As part of its overall integration with the London Series, Mitel will also develop and execute these communications solutions in the buildout of the dugouts and bullpens at London Stadium. Additionally, Mitel’s creative marks will be featured throughout all ancillary events leading up to the weekend series. Likewise, Mitel will be prominently featured with extensive brand exposure at MLB events during and in the lead-up to Mitel & MLB Present London Series 2020.
The original Mitel-MLB partnership agreement established the brand as the presenting partner of league-wide instant replay reviews. That integrated branding will extend through the London Series match-ups with in-stadium signage, digital exposure and replay technicians sporting Mitel and MLB marks on their apparel. This newly signed pact between MLB and Mitel also allows for unique media integrations across digital and broadcast platforms – including MLB Network, MLB.com and the MLB At Bat app – in addition to any UK-based media partners that air the contests. These could include the replay reviews in addition to other creative content.
Noah Garden, executive vice president, commerce, Major League Baseball, commented: “With Mitel expanding its MLB partnership internationally, it tells us how successful this first season together was and how committed Mitel is to our sport.
“We’re proud to have Mitel deepen their involvement with MLB as part of an important league initiative like the landmark London Series. We’re excited about growing our partnership and, like our fans, can’t wait for next year’s games to begin.”
In addition to its league-level deal, Mitel has partnerships and customer relationships with several MLB clubs including the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers.
Earlier this year, Mitel also agreed a partnership with Tottenham Hotspur FC to become the club's Official Unified Communications Supplier, providing telecommunications systems to the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
A Mitel spokesperson told Sport Industry Group that further UK sport sponsorship deals will soon be announced.