Sharp Pitches Aquos Line In Final MLB Month

Sharp is launching a range of promotions and activities for the final month of Major League Baseball. Sharp last year became the official HDTV of MLB to promote its Aquos products. The new elements include a national sweepstakes promotion, grassroots efforts and retail programs leading to the Postseason and 2008 World Series.

The company says the effort--part of its biggest sports marketing campaign--includes signing a roster of MLB players to tout Aquos.

Post-season efforts, via Chicago-based sports marketing firm Relay Worldwide, include a range of promotions--including a national stadium campaign called "Sharp Aquos Instant Replay Roadshow," at all MLB Postseason games and the World Series.

The Instant Replay Roadshow centers on kiosks at stadiums where game attendees can view collections of close calls, safe/outs, and fair/fouls and make calls.

Judah Zeigler, associate vice president, retail and consumer marketing, Sharp Electronics, says the company is in year two of a three-year deal. He says this is the first year that Sharp is incorporating interactive events like Instant Replay Roadshow.



Sharp also has electronic video insertions "in almost all--if not all--games," he says. "Also, we have a fairly extensive media buy during post-season with Fox and TBS." With the latter, Sharp this year began a TV and online partnership called Sharp Lights Out, which features promotional spots starring Anderson Cooper encouraging people to turn off lights to save energy while watching.

Zeigler adds that the players with Sharp endorsement deals are appearing in local-market print ads. As for other sports, Sharp was in Nascar last year. "We took a break this year and look to be back in at some level in 2009," he says. Sharp also has associations with MLB teams and with Universal Theme Parks.

The company is also conducting a grassroots effort called Aquos Experience, a traveling mobile tour comprising an interactive showcase, video gaming stations, high-def MLB footage and memorabilia.

During the World Series, the company has title sponsorship of "Sharp presents Hank Aaron Award" given to the top offensive player in each league. The winner of Sharp's Winning Lineup sweepstakes promotion, which began during the All-Star Game, will present the Hank Aaron Award.

The company's other prizes for the Winning Lineup sweepstakes includes Aquos TVs hand-delivered by one of the 11 MLB players who have signed with Sharp: Hank Blalock, Prince Fielder, Carlos Gomez, Matt Holliday, Andruw Jones, John Maine, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Sanchez, and Ryan Theriot. The players are also making appearances at retail outlets.

The company says over 5,500 retailers are involved with the Sharp Aquos MLB promotions.

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