Major League Baseball is joining with 12 other sports leagues and organizations in partnering with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative to launch a new campaign in support of the COVID-19 vaccine education initiative, “It’s Up To You.”
To go along with this campaign, new public service announcements are being released to encourage sports fans to get the latest accurate information about the COVID-19 vaccines by visiting GetVaccineAnswers.org. And a couple of MLB’s biggest stars make appearances, reminding us of the sorts of moments, in full ballparks, we will be able to experience again once vaccination efforts allow life to return to normal.
The videos feature a brand-new recording of the song “I’ll Be Seeing You,” performed by Grammy Award winner Willie Nelson, along with highlights from a number of different sports. In one, Angels outfielder and three-time American League MVP Award winner Mike Trout signs autographs for fans before a game, Mets slugger Pete Alonso blasts a walk-off home run and a couple of young fans wearing Pirates jerseys are thrown a souvenir in the stands at Wrigley Field
“We are proud to join the other sports leagues in sending an important health and safety message to our fans,” said Barbara McHugh, MLB’s senior vice president, marketing, in a statement. “Baseball has a unique ability to bring people together at the ballpark, creating communal experiences and memorable moments. Our fans are integral in creating that magic. We’re hopeful this campaign resonates with millions of people and inspires them to take action in our common desire of returning to normalcy. We’re looking forward to once again hearing the roar of the crowd at our ballparks.”
After a 2020 season that was disrupted and ultimately shortened to 60 games by the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB is approaching 2021 Opening Day -- set for April 1 -- with a renewed sense of hope. A big part of that is the arrival of vaccines and the increasing pace of vaccinations across the country. MLB ballparks have been a big part of that effort, serving as mass vaccination sites.
Still, according to Ad Council research conducted last month by Ipsos, approximately 40 percent of the American public remain undecided about getting vaccinated. That’s where the “It’s Up To You” initiative is designed to come in, educating the public and helping people make informed decisions.
“Sports and sports moments hold a special place in the hearts of millions of people across our country and, regardless of who you’re rooting for, we’re all looking forward to getting back to the arenas, stadiums and moments we miss,” said Lisa Sherman, president and CEO of the Ad Council, in a statement. “We’re grateful for the extraordinary collaboration and commitment from all of our partner leagues and organizations, and Willie Nelson for lending his voice to these powerful PSAs. We know this work will inspire Americans and encourage them to get the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccines.”