Louisville Slugger – Chicago Cubs

The Challenge: Because the Cleveland Indians’ last World Series was in 1997 and the Cubs hadn’t played for the championship in 71 years, Doe-Anderson’s long-time client Louisville Slugger knew the 2016 World Series was a golden opportunity to create commemorative bats for jubilant fans of whichever team ended up winning. So, the agency began planning its earned media strategy well before the final game of the Series.


The Solution

In the early morning after the Cubs clinched the title – just hours after the final out – Doe-Anderson staged a photo opportunity in the bat factory. Taking advantage of the news cycle during which media attention would be at its height, we invited members of the local media to watch Louisville Slugger begin creating commemorative bats, capitalizing on near-hysteria among Cubs fans.

The agency then helped facilitate nationwide buzz by letting media around the country know that local outlets had compelling video and photography of the bats in production. In addition, Doe-Anderson distributed its own video footage and still photography from the factory, pitching the story to additional news media across the country. In each instance, a link to order Cubs commemorative bats was included in the information provided to the media to drive traffic to the Louisville Slugger website.

Limited-Edition Cubs Bats

Following the World Series, Louisville Slugger created 2,016 sequentially numbered limited-edition full-size bats to commemorate the 2016 World Series, the year the Cubs finally won its long-awaited championship.

Media Event

Local media moved quickly to the Louisville Slugger factory following the World Series to report on the Louisville Slugger commemorative bats being made.

MLB World Series Bats

Maple was the 2016 wood of choice for World Series participants. Seventy percent of the hitters, including the Cubs' Jason Heyward, swung maple bats. Twenty-five percent, including Ben Zobrist, swung ash. A few, like Javier Bàez, swung birch.

The Results

Doe-Anderson helped Louisville Slugger not only tell the world about commemorative bats honoring the 2016 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, but also accomplish that rare feat in the public relations industry: tying actual bat sales specifically to earned media placements.

Scores of earned media stories resulted in over 58 million impressions and record-setting sales of commemorative World Series bats. Thousands of sales were tied directly to these placements when customers clicked on the Louisville Slugger web address included in the stories.

Coverage included top-tier placements with MLB Network, NBC, local network affiliates around the country and leading newspapers like The Courier-Journal.

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