Kingsford and MLB: Perfect Teammates All Season Long

They call it the national pastime.

For millions of people across the U.S., summer is about following a favorite Major League Baseball (MLB) team. From Opening Day in the spring through the World Series in the fall, American families and friends forge a tradition of “together time” through baseball.

At Kingsford, we want to strengthen that “together time” in the way we know best — through awesome grilling experiences. So Kingsford has signed on as a sponsor of MLB so we can connect America’s favorite charcoal brand with America’s pastime.      

A bag of Kingsford charcoal coming off the line in Springfield, Oregon.

How are we doing this?

The heaviest hitter in our marketing program lineup has been an interactive digital experience known as Backyard All-Stars. We’ve encouraged fans to create videos of their kids swinging for the fences and then match up the action to the home-run calls of some of MLB’s most beloved announcers: Vin Scully, Joe Buck and John Sterling.

And while the Backyard All-Stars experience is available all season long, fans who uploaded their videos to the site by early June were eligible to win a trip to the MLB All-Star Game in Washington D.C. on July 17.

The eight lucky folks attending the game courtesy of Kingsford won’t be the brand’s only involvement in the game.

We’re starting five days ahead, hosting a cookout outside Nationals Park in Washington each day leading up the game with pitmasters who will demonstrate different ways to prepare beef, chicken and pulled pork. Visitors can also make their own home-run videos with a famous announcer’s call. And our eight Backyard All-Stars contest winners will participate in a home-run derby with retired Boston Red Sox star David ‘Big Papi’ Ortiz.”

Pitmaster Chris Lilly at work

This is the culmination of a partnership that kicked off shortly before Opening Day on March 29, when Kingsford and MLB rolled out a national marketing program to celebrate everyday baseball moments and major-league grilling.

“Like Major League Baseball, Kingsford is associated with summer and being outdoors,” says Adam Rosenberg, brand engagement manager for Kingsford. “So we’re encouraging people to become ‘backyard all-stars’ around the grill and create their own traditions over the course of the MLB season.”

The program includes MLB-branded Kingsford packaging, in-store displays, national-media and social-media support featuring baseball legends, and consumer sweepstakes for game tickets.

Between the digital initiatives, in-store activations and on-the-scene experiences taking place throughout the 2018 baseball season, Kingsford is deepening its connection to America’s warm-weather traditions.

Says Rosenberg: “Our biggest goal is to encourage people to create even more moments they cherish involving baseball and grilling — play some ball, watch a game and be a backyard all-star.”