Chevrolet sees sports as a way to connect to the community. And the automaker makes that mission evident during the MLB season and especially the sport's marquee events.
As the official vehicle of MLB since 2005, Chevrolet also affiliates itself with 13 individual teams through regional dealer marketing. Throughout the season, Chevrolet has a variety of initiatives to play up the MLB sponsorship, including during the World Series.
Chevrolet leverages its partnership to integrate the brand into the broadcast on the MLB Network, using the brand's Play Ball Chevrolet Kid Reporter, advertising and, likely the most notable, presenting the Willie Mays World Series Most Valuable Player award, which comes with a brand-new special-edition Centennial-Edition Silverado truck.
"Sports is a great way for us to connect at all levels, from our youth baseball program to our support at a professional level through our overall sponsorship of Major League Baseball and 13 teams around the country," says Steve Haener, senior manager of experiential marketing. "Chevrolet and MLB share common values which makes our partnership so strong. Both brands have a great focus on family and community. Determination and teamwork are also qualities that are important for both brands to succeed."
With those shared values—and often a shared demographic— Haener says the most popular models the brand promotes to the baseball audience come in the form of the Traverse, Equinox, Malibu, Cruze and Silverado. "These products are geared toward families and offer the features and flexibility that they expect," Haener says.
During the year, Chevrolet sponsors Play Ball, an effort to encourage young people and community to participate in baseball-related activities, whether formal leagues, events and casual forms of play. The youth program has so far raised more than $28 million to aid hometown teams over the last 10 years. Haener says that nearly 5.2 million youth have benefited from the program.
During All-Star Game weekend, Chevrolet joins in Fan Fest, offering virtual batting and pitching exercises, the ability to make your own baseball card with stats from the performance and by presenting the All-Star Game MVP. That game's winner gets their choice between two vehicles.
In 2017, Chevrolet offered up the options of a Corvette Grand Sport or a Colorado ZR2. Robinson Canoe selected the Corvette.
With the World Series MVP award presentation imminent, Chevrolet will once again join with MLB in the intrigue of the World Series when it rolls the Silverado onto the field of Dodger Stadium.
Tim Newcomb covers gear and business for Baseball America. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.