Gillette, IHG Re-Up MLB Sponsorships

Gillette deal expands into Puerto Rico, Holiday Inn becomes "official partner of MLB road trips"
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Major League Baseball has signed sponsorship extensions with two of its largest partners, Procter & Gamble's Gillette brand and IHG, which owns Holiday Inn Hotels.

Gillette has been an MLB sponsor since 1939, and has produced ads featuring its players going as far back as 1910.

The extension will continue to give the company exclusive rights in a number of brand categories, including men's and women's deodorants, shaving products and men's skin care products. It also expands the agreement to include the territory of Puerto Rico.

New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is currently starring in a campaign for Gillette's Fusion brand of razors and razor blades. Other major leaguers that have pitched its products have been Mickey Mantle, Honus Wagner, Hank Aaron and Whitey Ford.

Also signing an extension is InterContinental Hotels Group, which owns Holiday Inn, InterContinental and Crowne Plaza hotels.

As part of the three year agreement, Holiday Inn will become "The official partner of MLB road trips," the centerpiece of which will be an initiative that gives guests at the hotels the chance to earn free tickets to games.

MLB also inked a number of sponsorship deals abroad, including renewing its exclusive agreement with soft drink maker Pepsi in Latin America and financial services company ESun in Taiwan.

In Japan, MLB is partnering with convenience store chain Lawsons, Lotte, which produces the Soh brand of ice cream, and Kowa, which makes analgesic patches.

"The strong commitment by these companies to join forces with baseball is a testament to the strength of our game and our business as part of the cultural fabric of society and its ability to touch so many people around the world," said Tim Brosnan, Major League Baseball Executive Vice President, Business, in a statement. "In addition, these deals make a powerful statement about baseball's strength in the marketplace, especially given the current economic climate."

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