With all the hype surrounding the All-Star Game and its activities, not to be forgotten are the promotional efforts leading up to the midsummer classic.
For as long as I can remember, Fox has broadcasted the All-Star Game and has been fairly creative in its commercials promoting the game.
While Twitter and social media campaigns have been successful in raising awareness and receiving votes for the Final Vote ballot, television commercials have been an extremely effective and entertaining tool to showcase the MLB's best players.
Here are my five most memorable All-Star Game commercials:
This commercial for the 2010 All-Star Game on Fox immediately caught my attention the first time I saw it.
Major League Baseball was clever enough to market the midsummer classic in Los Angeles by utilizing the beach and intertwining the players into the sand.
The National League came out on top in 2010 by a score of 3-1 after dropping 13 straight years to the American League.
The home field advantage paid dividends for the NL, as the San Francisco Giants took home the World Series title that year.
The 2009 All-Star game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis was the first year that the winning league received home field advantage during the World Series.
I found it brilliant for the MLB to use the famous Gateway Arch and the slogan "this one counts" to market the 2009 game.
The AL would go on to defeat the NL by a score of 4-3 for the second consecutive year, which aided the New York Yankees in winning their 27th World Championship.
I had to throw this one in here because it's a throwback and features arguably the best hitter to ever grace the diamond, Ted Williams.
The commercial shows how much the game has changed, as this 1982 commercial has Williams reminding fans to vote for the ASG, whereas today the MLB has no issues with a lack of voting from the fans.
Williams was the definition of an All-Star in his heyday, so it was good thinking by the MLB to use him in the commercial.
Williams was a 19-time All-Star, a two-time AL MVP and a two-time Triple Crown winner, all with the Boston Red Sox.
In my mind, there wasn't a better way to close the old Yankee Stadium by hosting the All-Star Game and watching Josh Hamilton bomb the ball into the facade in right center.
As you'll see in the commercial, the MLB used the famous Yankee facade to promote the ASG in the Bronx, not knowing that all eyes would be focused on the long balls flying into it via Hamilton during the Home Run Derby.
The MLB was smart to feature a cameo of Derek Jeter, who's arguably the poster boy for the stadium, at least to younger fans.
The AL eventually topped the NL in a 15-inning battle that saw the Texas Rangers' Michael Young drive in the winning run.
This is a great promotion for the 2012 All-Star Game in Kansas City because it's more personal and lets each player tell his own story.
Obviously, the commercial was filmed way before All-Star voting opened up, thus engaging fans and preparing them for the ballots, but it was still a great lead-up promo to All-Star weekend.
I like the line, "the road to October starts here," because unlike any other professional sport, the MLB's All-Star Game actually serves a purpose—well, since 2009.
Despite some obvious voting blunders (Matt Cain starting over R.A. Dickey and Pablo Sandoval, Buster Posey, Mike Napoli and Dan Uggla all being named starters), it should be another ASG for the ages.
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