Following the announcement of the 2024 MLB Little League® Classic featuring the New York Yankees and the Detroit Tigers, Major League Baseball and Little League International today announced an extension of their joint partnership and promotional agreement. First established in 2019, MLB and Little League have worked together to align with some of North America’s most recognizable brands. MLB and Little League have created first-class partnerships that infuse opportunities for community engagement, local Little League program support, financial support and exciting initiatives that promote fun and stimulate excitement for the game in Little League’s 6,500 local programs across more than 80 countries.
“The support of official sponsors has helped bring the diamond dreams of children to life as they look to learn the sport and enjoy the experiences of the game, all while looking up to their professional heroes,” said Liz DiLullo Brown, Little League Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “Major League Baseball and Little League have a long history of collaboration, from developing strategies that bring Little Leaguers and their families to the ballpark to creating partnerships that help drive more participation and engagement in local Little League programs. In the past four years, through our joint sponsorship agreement, we have worked with some incredible partners to bring even more support and programming to our communities and to enhance our tournaments with additional support and excitement.”
With this extension, Little League and MLB plan to continue building on their momentum and developing new, innovative programming for Little League partners. Since 2019, these partnerships have provided direct grant support to local Little League programs through initiatives such as: the Ball Park Buns Ball Park of Dreams local league grant refurbishment program, Eggland’s Best grant support of the Little League Challenger Division® and Little League Baseball® World Series Challenger Exhibition Game. Additionally, the support from T-Mobile’s local league sponsorship program and the T-Mobile Little League Call Up Grant over the last four years has provided $4.5 million to 40,000 families in need to offset registration fees for children to play.
“MLB and Little League have always had a close relationship, but over the last four years we’ve worked hard to forge that bond more and partner even closer together,” said Uzma Rawn, MLB Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships. “By working collaboratively with Little League, business partners of Baseball can now connect with our sport’s fans and participants on a deeper level than ever before. We see a tremendous value in offering partners these opportunities that can reach the passionate and engaged audience of baseball fans across the spectrum.”
The joint partnership agreement has also brought compelling activation programs to Little League, including the T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby, the Topps Local League Trading Card Collectibles Promotion and Lance Sandwich Crackers celebrating the Lance Little League Coach of the Year annual awards program with the Positive Coaching Alliance. Newer partners like Capital One, Dairy Queen, AIG’s Travel Guard and NatureSweet have worked in concert with Little League and MLB to create new activation programs that serve to enhance the experience and grow the game, both locally and at marquee events, such as the Little League Baseball World Series, Presented by T-Mobile.
As Little League and MLB continue to build excitement around baseball and softball through joint initiatives like the MLB Little League Classic and Little League Days at MLB Ballparks, the joint partnership and promotional agreement provides future opportunities for brands to align with two iconic institutions in sports.