"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" conjures a mental image of peanuts and Cracker Jack, or maybe a hot dog and a cold beer. Sports fans have long been satisfied with concession stand offerings that range from soda to soft pretzels, and every candy bar in between.
However, for more gourmet baseball fans, Major League Baseball Properties (MLB) has commissioned a line of wines labeled to reflect the insignias of popular teams. So far, the collection includes specialty labels for the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and others. Created by Wine by Design, the range of limited edition vino should appeal to sports fans who can drink from their favorite team's label on special occasions and game days.
On the face of it, baseball and wine may not be an obvious marriage. However, MLB and individual teams have merchandised more than just foam fingers and ball caps in the past. From furniture to camping equipment, we've all seen the variety of products that sport home team logos. Wine is just another step in raising brand awareness and engaging consumers in a lifestyle built on baseball team branding.
"We went to Major League Baseball with a proposal to look at licensing differently," says Diane Karle, Wine by Design founder and CEO. "We are helping them create brand collections with high-end designs that reflect the local, unique nature of the teams and the sport. Before we approached them, the league and the teams found it somewhat challenging to navigate this complicated category."
A takeaway for small businesses is understanding how unlikely merchandising opportunities can raise the visibility of a product or service. With an industrial label printer, companies can make their mark on wines, beers and other lifestyle items. Associating baseball teams with fine wine, for example, displays a kitschy irony that could amuse dinner guests, or provide an ideal present for a wine lover who never misses a baseball game.
Thinking outside the box with custom label printing can generate interest in your organization and open new doors for merchandising.