Spider-Man to be at gate, not on deck

Signage, matrix messages are extent of promotion

May 08, 2004|By Ed Waldman | Ed Waldman,SUN STAFF

Expect to see Spider-Man hanging around the entrance gates and the JumboTron at Camden Yards during the weekend of June 11-13, but don't look for him in the on-deck circles.

T.J. Brightman, the Orioles' vice president of corporate sales and sponsorships, said yesterday that the team won't put the logo from the movie Spider-Man 2 on the on-deck circles, and won't use the ad-adorned home plate or rubber for the ceremonial first pitch.

"It is a Major League Baseball initiative, and we are participating at baseball's request," Brightman said.

"Each team had the choice of doing certain things," he said. "We decided that for our fans, we would put the signage up at the gates. Running the movie trailers was fine, running messages on the matrix board was fine, but [using the logo on the on-deck circles or on home plate before the game] was never really considered."

On Thursday, Major League Baseball backed down from part of its reported $3.6 million promotional deal with Marvel Studios and Sony Inc., the parent of Columbia Pictures, which is releasing Spider-Man 2 on June 30.

Under the original deal, teams had the option of putting logos on the bases during the games.

After the deal was announced Wednesday, it was denounced by fan groups, politicians and even some baseball executives as another example of the growing commercialism of sports.

The Orioles are home to Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants that weekend.

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