Daily deals site Groupon has teamed-up with MLB Advanced Media, the interactive media and Internet company of Major League Baseball, to offer deals that will take baseball fans out to ball games and provide discounts on peanuts and crackerjacks, among other related experiences and merchandise.
Groupon announced the multi-year deal last week. In it, Groupon will become MLB.com's official daily deals site through the 2014 season.
The agreement could potentially include all 30 MLB teams, but teams won't likely commit to deals until February or March as spring training approaches, says GrouponLive General Manager Greg Rudin.
Under the agreement, Groupon will host deals from MLB clubs through its GrouponLive events platform, which launched in May 2011 as a joint venture between Groupon and Live Nation Entertainment to offer deals on live entertainment.
Groupon has worked with MLB since 2009 in a non-exclusive capacity. Groupon and several MLB clubs, including the New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants, Washington Nationals, Texas Rangers and Detroit Tigers, have already offered deals in previous seasons.
Prior deals include discounts on tickets, as well as deals with tickets and food, drinks or merchandise or experiences like getting into a stadium early to see batting practice.
According to a press release, the new partnership will also feature experiential packages from clubs, such as access to luxury box seats and clubhouse and ballpark tours.
"MLB Advanced Media, who manages and hosts the team websites and all online ticket sales, has authorized Groupon as the only daily deals partner to work with MLB teams," Rudin says. "And what that means is you won't see deals for baseball tickets on LivingSocial or Google Offers any time soon. Fortunately, we're in a position where we will be working with teams directly in order to put together deals that create awareness and exposure for games and bring fans into seats in ballparks."
While MLB Advanced Media is in a position to authorize the partnership, all teams will have individual say over the deal structure and timing, and whether they want to do deals at all, Rudin notes.
"If a team has unusually high attendance and doesn't feel the need to engage us as a marketing partner or if they're seeing significantly high attendance through the mid- to end of season, we wouldn't work with those teams as much, Rudin says. "But if there are teams that want help creating exposure because of an attendance lag or expose an opportunity to get new fans, [those are the teams we'll work with]."
As of the third quarter, Groupon had more than 200 million subscribers worldwide. 39.5 million of those subscribers have purchased a deal with the last year.
Groupon did not provide a separate figure for U.S. customers.
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March 19, 2014