Major League Baseball has official sponsors for beer, credit cards and even tires-- but they didn’t have an official sponsorship for a classic food associated with the game--hot dogs-- until Tuesday.
The MLB has just announced that Nathan’s Famous Inc. — the New York-based fast-food chain behind the annual Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest — will serve as the first official hot dog sponsor of the league.
Nathan’s also becomes the first frankfurter sponsor in the MLB’s 141-year history, reports Consumerist.
“Baseball’s the national pastime for America, and Nathan’s has been serving hot dogs for well over 100 years. It’s a natural fit,” said Scott Harvey, executive vice president of Nathan’s Famous, in an interview with FOX Business. “Having our brand out there is certainly special for us. Being associated with Major League Baseball is an incredible event.”
In becoming the official sponsor for Major League Baseball, Nathan’s will also be supporting the league’s “Play Ball” initiative, which encourages children and teens to get involved with the sport.
However, the MLB’s sausage sponsorship does not mean that Nathan’s hot dogs will be replacing the franks currently served at ballparks across the U.S. Rather, the deal means that Nathan’s will have the right to use the MLB trademark in their advertising, as well as the ability to tout their dogs as “the official hot dog of major league baseball.”
For example, Boston’s Fenway Park will still be getting their Fenway Franks from their local supplier at Kayem, and Milwaukee’s Miller Park will still be serving up plenty of bratwursts from Klement’s.
Nathan’s dogs, meanwhile, will still be available at the home stadiums of the Marlins, Mets, Cardinals and Yankees, just as they have been for years.