Conservative group targets MLB with seven-figure ad campaign

A conservative group is targeting Major League Baseball and Ticketmaster with a seven-figure ad campaign ahead of next week’s All-Star Game, accusing them of practicing “woke capitalism.”

why is it important: Directly targeting MLB – and other private entities – Consumers’ Research warns US companies that they will try to speak directly to their customers for the express purpose of hurting their bottom line.

  • “Commissioner Rob Manfred moved the Atlanta All-Star Game, repeating partisan and dishonest talking points,” the narrator intones in the MLB announcement. “Why is he making baseball politics anyway? Because of his terrible record.
  • MLB declined to comment.

The big picture: In April, Manfred announced the 2021 All-Star Game would be moved out of Atlanta due to Georgia law limiting voting access, a move President Joe Biden said he would support.

  • The decision to move the game to Denver was heavily criticized by Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • A Texas-based conservative organization, the Job Creator Network, attempted to sue MLB, but the suit was dismissed by a federal judge, who called the lawsuit “weak and confusing.”
  • Critics of Georgia’s law say it was intended to target heavily Democratic jurisdictions and will hurt black and Latino voters the most.

Go further: Conservative groups have attempted to “name and shame” organizations for their perceived partisan stances, often attempting to sway the C-Suite by buying ads on CNBC, the network many executives monitor.

  • In May, Consumers’ Research launched a similar seven-figure campaign against Coca-Cola, American Airlines and Nike.
  • The new ads against MLB and Ticketmaster are planned for cable and local television where the companies are headquartered, as well as in Atlanta, where the decision to move the game to Denver has been criticized by local business leaders.