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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Spider-Man Idea Was Way Off Base

Hal Bodley of USA Today criticizes the aborted Spider-Man promotion -- then unaccountably gives Bud Selig credit for killing it:

Within 24 hours, Selig pulled the plug. His reputation and sacred regard for baseball remained intact. He got caught in the web, but quickly found his way out.
In fact, as Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reported last week, Columbia Pictures, not Selig, pulled the plug:

Columbia, which is releasing the "Spider-Man 2" movie on June 30, had monitored polls on and AOL yesterday showing that fans were overwhelmingly against the idea of commercial endorsements on bases during the games, Geoffrey Ammer, president of worldwide marketing for the Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, said.

"Fans were saying, 'Whoa!' " he said.

Subsequently, Columbia asked baseball to take the signs on the bases out of the deal
According to Bodley, Selig had personally opposed the Spider-Man campaign:

The day of the announcement, Selig told me he wasn't thrilled with the promotion but tried to defend it. I told him he was wrong, and his response was silence. He says he reluctantly agreed to the promotion because he has tremendous respect for his executives, including Jacqueline Parkes, MLB's marketing and advertising vice president.
I'll let Bud have the last word here:

"I'm always interested in some of the critics. I don't mind concerns being raised by fans and others who care for the game, but it's the public demagoguery that aggravates me."


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