Major League Baseball this week is unveiling a new postseason marketing campaign featuring popular entertainer DJ Khaled.
With the league’s newly expanded, 16-team playoff format set to begin September 29 and continue over the next month until the World Series to be held in Texas, the league has rolled out “October: The Remix,” a new video spot with a voiceover from DJ Khaled, and animation from Emmy Award-winning artist Mike Perry.
The marketing makes specific reference to the expansion of the playoffs this year from 10 teams to 16, saying at point, “this year we invited a few extra friends.” And much like MLB’s promotional efforts in recent years, it makes direct aim at showcasing the league’s emerging young stars, with players featured this year including 21-year-old San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and 22-year-old Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette, among many others.
“Anything can happen. That’s right. Anything,” Khaled says at one point in the spot. “These kids are different. They are young, loud, hungry. Same game. Whole new attitude.”
— MLB (@MLB) September 28, 2020
While MLB for many years has sought to promote its emerging stars as a mean to help attract a younger fan demographic, the efforts may now be showing some signs of achieving some traction. The notable talent and fan appeal of the current crop of young stars has prompted this year’s list of the top-selling MLB player jerseys to include two players aged 21 or younger – Tatis Jr. and Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto – in the top five for the first time since 2012.
The last time that happened involved Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and now-Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper, each of which remain among the league’s top talents.
MLB’s 2020 postseason promotional campaign will run prominently across both traditional and social media over the next month.
Because of the extra MLB playoff games happening this year, ESPN has employed sister broadcast network ABC to help with its coverage, and that network this week will show MLB games for the first time since 1995. ESPN this week will also present its own multiplatform marketing campaign entitled “Fall Frenzy” to promote its MLB playoff coverage.