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Little League Hosts National Sponsors’ Summit
Topics of the meetings included updates on many Little League programs including: the Little League Urban Initiative and the third annual Urban Initiative Jamboree; the League Development Program; the Challenger Division and the inaugural Challenger Little League Baseball World Jamboree; the Pitch Count Pilot Program; and the new Coaches’ Newsletter, among a host of other topics. Specific attention was given to the 2007 Little League International Congress, the 2006 Little League World Series tournaments, and the presence by sponsors at those events.
Discussion topics included how sponsors can further activate sponsorships to assist leagues through grass-root contacts and programs, including emphasis on the regular season of play, Little League Week, and all divisions of play. Much discussion fell on opportunities for a national opening day celebration which would recognize all leagues whether individual league opening days had occurred or not, and ways to recognize the participation of all Little Leaguers during the regular season.
“The Little League Sponsors’ Summit is an annual opportunity for all of our sponsors to gather and discuss Little League philosophy and operations, and how sponsors may be woven into the fabric of league affiliation to present opportunities that provide added value to the leagues and all constituents, including administrators, parents, players, coaches and volunteers,” Jud Rogers, senior marketing executive for Little League International, said. “It also affords sponsors the opportunity to meet, share ideas and discuss ways to work together on promotions and programs for activation in the future.”
During the meeting, attendees were treated to a special tour of Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and a welcome from Sandy Alderson, the Padres’ chief executive officer. Mr. Alderson mentioned that because of a recent concert and a clause in the agreement between Petco and the Padres, most of the sod had to be replaced for the 2006 season. The organization donated all of the used sod from the field to the local Little Leagues in the San Diego area.
Sponsors represented at the summit included Ace Hardware, the official hardware supplier of Little League Baseball and Softball; Active.com and the Little League Network; American Honda, the official vehicle of Little League Baseball and Softball; Bank of America, the official banking partner of Little League Baseball and Softball; Bryant Heating & Cooling, the official heating and cooling systems of Little League Baseball and Softball; Choice Hotels International, the official hotel partner of Little League Baseball and Softball; Musco Lighting, the official sports lighting provider of Little League Baseball and Softball; New Era Cap, the official cap of the Little League Baseball World Series; Russell Athletic, the official uniform of the Little League Baseball World Series; RE/MAX International, the official Real Estate Partner of Little League Baseball and Softball; Subway Restaurants, the official Restaurant of Little League Baseball and Softball; Sunkist Growers, the official fresh snack of Little League Baseball and Softball; and Wilson Sporting Goods, the official baseball of the Little League Baseball World Series, and official provider of league starter kits.
Other sponsors unable to attend the summit include Capri Sun, the official beverage of Little League Baseball and Softball; Easton Sporting Goods, the official shoe of the Little League baseball World Series; Masterfoods, USA (Snickers Brand), the official candy of Little League Baseball and Softball, and Upper Deck, the official baseball trading cards of Little League Baseball and Softball.
Special partners of Little League Baseball and Softball also attending the summit include ESPN/ABC Sports, Major League Baseball, SloaneVision Unlimited, Inc. (Little League Baseball and Softball Licensing) and Velocity Sports & Entertainment (Little League Baseball and Softball’s Sponsor Agency), XP Companies (Little League Baseball and Softball merchandising and on-line store provider).