Stadia advertisers vary

A new study suggests there is more difference between the Blue Jays and the Expos than two World Series wins and the designated hitter rule.The just-released, second annual Ernst & Young Baseball Signage Study has found stadia in Toronto and Montreal...

A new study suggests there is more difference between the Blue Jays and the Expos than two World Series wins and the designated hitter rule.

The just-released, second annual Ernst & Young Baseball Signage Study has found stadia in Toronto and Montreal display more sponsors’ advertising signage than the major league average, but the similarity stops there.

Business

At SkyDome, where the Blue Jays play their home games, the club displayed less than half the league average for food and beverage advertising but almost three times as much business product advertising.

In comparison, the Montreal Expos are about level with other baseball teams for food and beverage signage at Olympic Stadium, but above average for consumer products and services.

Carole Boivin, director of marketing for the National League’s Expos, says there might be a couple of reasons for the differences.

Boivin points out SkyDome is downtown and close to the business community, and the Expos offer advertisers a lot of integrated promotional packages on consumer products and services.

Calls to Controlled Media Communications, which sells SkyDome signage, were not returned.

Bob Turner, director of media and entertainment at Ernst & Young in Toronto, says it is his guess the reason for the signage difference between the two clubs is the perception of who the fans are.

Everyday folk

Turner says the Toronto team may draw more from the business community, and the Montreal club’s followers seem more likely to be everyday folk.

Also, says Turner, the ‘balance and thrust’ of the Expos’ marketing resembles that of u.s. clubs – blue collar and modestly priced.

Both the Blue Jays and the Expos have 26 advertisers in their respective stadia rather than the league average of 16 advertisers.

The Ernst & Young study found there are 698 stadium signs in the 28 major league ballparks, and about 300 companies sponsor their local team through stadium advertising.

Since last year, the number of advertisements in major league stadia has increased by 45%, says the study, with 698 signs visible from the seating area compared with the 1992 total of 474.

Food and beverage

The study also found out food and beverage companies account for 37% of all stadium signage, with brewer Anheuser Busch and Coca-Cola making up almost half of the total.

A bit less than 25% of stadium signage is for consumer products and services, says the study, with 15% of advertising by media and communications companies – more than half of it by local tv and radio stations.

The least amount of stadium signage is bought by business products and services firms and local and national retailers. Both groups have 13% of advertising signs each.

Labatt Breweries of Canada is the 10th-largest stadium advertiser with eight signs in SkyDome, Olympic Stadium and Tiger Stadium in Detroit. DC