Gillette Enters 70th Year Of MLB Sponsorship

Derek Jeter in Gillette razor ad spotMajor League Baseball has signed a new deal with Procter & Gamble that will take the marketer's Gillette brand through its 70th year as an official MLB sponsor and into the next decade. MLB said its relationship with the razor marketer is "the longest running sponsorship association of any U.S. sports league."

Under the deal, Gillette has rights to bill itself in advertising and promotions as the exclusive MLB sponsor in the shaving category, as well as deodorants and men's skin care. The arrangement also includes commitments to purchase time on MLB broadcasts on Fox and TBS. A smaller aspect of the new agreement -- of which the length and terms were not released -- includes Gillette garnering promotional rights in Puerto Rico.

When Procter & Gamble acquired Gillette, P&G said it turned to the shaving company's executives for guidance on sports marketing, since Gillette had such a long history. The MLB relationship serves as a venue for Gillette to reach the oft-elusive male target.

Gillette's MLB deal also allows players appearing in its commercials to wear their team uniforms -- so Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter can don his uniform in a spot for the Fusion line of razors and blades. Gillette's history of using Major Leaguers as endorsers predates its official relationship with MLB, which started in 1939. Honus Wagner, who retired in 1917, went to bat for the brand, as did Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

"Gillette is a sports-marketing pioneer that paved the way for modern-day sports sponsorship and endorsements," said MLB executive Tim Brosnan.

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