New York Mets CMO on the team’s first Super Bowl spot: ‘we liked the audacity of it’
An ad for baseball during football’s biggest game of the year? The free-spending Mets look to make a loud statement to kick off the 2023 season.
The New York Mets have shown a historic willingness to spend on players this offseason. That mentality has carried over into its marketing budget.
The formerly financially-strapped, lovable losers are now running a regional Super Bowl spot. It will air at the end of the first quarter, as well as pre-game, in New York’s tri-state area.
The Mets have flipped the script. In a town that had been largely dominated by the Yankees, and their formerly record-setting payrolls, the Mets have been emboldened by new billionaire owner Steve Cohen. The hedge fund manager has invested so much in the Mets that they renamed the luxury tax, levied upon teams whose payroll exceeds $230m, the Cohen tax.
“Steve has made a splash with the team. The thought was how do we go big in a way that is unexpected and different,” Mets chief marketing officer Andy Goldberg tells The Drum. “The Super Bowl is the kickoff of baseball season so how could we go out there and make a stand for our fans, make them feel great about it and also try and generate some interest in tickets and awareness.”
The comedic “Amazin’ call center” ad features the highest-priced phone operators you’ll ever find. It starts with centerfielder Brandon Nimmo (who signed a deal for $162m in the offseason) sprinting to answer the phone as if he were about to shag a fly ball. “I got it. It got it. I got it. I got it.” He grabs the phone. “New York Mets ticket center. This is Brandon.” It then cuts to shortstop Francisco Lindor (who has a $341m contract) talking to a customer on the phone. “Section 139? Yeah, you can see my hair from there.” It also features new pitcher Kodai Senga ($75m) and closer Edwin Diaz ($102m) who ends the commercial by closing a sale.
A QR code adorns the ad offering a variety of ticket packages for $57 in honor of Super Bowl LVII. There is also a sweepstakes for free season tickets and plans to have fans win a chance to speak directly with players during spring training. The copy says: “Amazin’ seats await.” Tagline: “We wanna hear you.”
The spot was conceived by FCB New York and produced by Media2 in conjunction with the New York Mets in-house production team. Giant Spoon handled the media.
The creative team took a fan-first approach. Not surprising since FCB New York co-chief creative officer Michael Aimette is a “long-suffering Mets fan... I’ve been living in the shadows of Yankee fans for years. Now the Mets have a viable, legit contender to win.”
FCB and the Mets creative team riffed off the fact that players “get energized by the fans and hearing them in the crowd,” says Aimette. So they created a scenario where the players talk directly to the fans buying tickets in a tone reminiscent of the beloved ‘This is Sportscenter’ ad campaigns.
The QR code will, of course, collect first-party data so the Mets can send future offers and deepen the relationship, per Goldberg who previously held marketing roles at American Express and General Electric. He is also ex-Wieden+Kennedy, BBH as well as other creative shops.
The Super Bowl spot, and investment, is sure to get fans talking — even rival Yankee fans. “[We liked] the audacity of being bold, being relevant,” says Goldberg. “We are an entertainment property. And how do you bring that to life to a bigger audience beyond that bubble of Mets fans? The Super Bowl. We’ve got over eight million people in [and around] New York who are going to be watching, so let’s draw their attention to the thing they are least expecting [among] the beer ads and the car ads.”
This is the first Super Bowl spot in the Mets’ 61-year history and the first baseball ad to air during the Super Bowl since the Texas Rangers in 2018.
New York Mets (brand)
FCB New York (creative agency)
Chief creative officer: Michael Aimette
Chief creative officer: Gabriel Schmitt
Executive creative director: Stu Mair
Executive creative director: Gary Resch
Creative director: Dan Grech
Creative director: Laszlo Szloboda
Associate creative director: David Green
Chief strategy officer: Todd Sussman
Strategy director: Robbie Felder
Associate program director: Carolyn Brafman
Management supervisor: Sean Kittredge
SVP, Account director: Janelle Van Wonderen
Giant Spoon (media agency)
Partner: Laura Correnti
Executive media director: Brooke Reno
VP, investment TV and streaming: Anthony Pedalino
EVP, platforms and data: Darrell Jursa
Group account director: Mitchell Kapler
Senior director, social strategy: Holly Stair
Associate director, social strategy: Mike Elenterio
Associate account director: Scott Nieman