Bryan Cranston, Sebastian Maniscalco & MLB Stars Showcase New Rules In Entertaining Series of Creative Spots Produced with Still Films, Wheelhouse Labs & Kimmelot
Major League Baseball today launched a new brand campaign – “Baseball is Something Else” – that showcases the endless ways people everywhere love baseball. The campaign modernizes baseball nostalgia and explores why baseball’s fan experience is so incomparable. Made for fans of all ages to enjoy, it features print, digital, out-of-home and television creative, in addition to experiential activations. These efforts begin running today with more new creative, content and events launching throughout the season. The films can be viewed here, in New York City’s Times Square, across broadcast and cable television, digital media, Virtual MVPDs and in ballparks around North America. MLB is collaborating with famed advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy as the league’s new Agency of Record.
These new films follow a series of short creative spots the league launched last week to inform fans about the new series of rules that are designed to quicken the pace and create more action. These fun video spots about the changes feature MLB All-Star caliber players including Tim Anderson, Nestor Cortes, Blake Snell, Jose Trevino, Daniel Vogelbach and Joey Votto, as well as a couple of baseball-loving entertainers: Bryan Cranston and Sebastian Maniscalco. The spots debuted on social media and can be found at the bottom of this document.
MLB is also activating a new content and experiential platform called MLB Life to highlight the many intersections between baseball and culture around the world. MLB Life will include a website, social media channels, lifestyle events and experiential activations centered around baseball’s connection to fashion, food, music, art and gaming.
MLB opens the 2023 Championship Season tomorrow with 15 contests scheduled across the U.S. With all 30 Clubs scheduled to play on Opening Day presented by Chevrolet, it would mark the first season since 1968 that every team across the Majors opened the season on the same date. The 2023 season will also mark the first to feature a balanced schedule for all 30 Clubs across the Majors since Interleague play was introduced in 1997, with all 30 Clubs playing each other throughout the year.
After a successful Spring Training implementing three new major rules, and a thrilling World Baseball Classic that set records and showcased Major League talent around the globe, MLB’s 30 Clubs tomorrow begin their 6+ month journey to earn a spot in the Postseason and chase the 119th World Series title.
The new rules, which include a pitch timer, defensive shift limits and bigger bases, had an immediate impact in Spring Training as the average length of games was 26 minutes shorter than last year’s Spring Training games. In addition, stolen base attempts (2.3 vs. 1.6 per game) and stolen bases (1.8 vs. 1.1) were both up as was the stolen base success rate from 71.3% last year to 77.2% this year.
The 2023 World Baseball Classic, the fifth installment of a worldwide best-on-best baseball tournament, shattered event viewership, attendance and merchandise records as Samurai Japan took home the Gold Medal. The epic conclusion of the tournament featured two of the all-time greatest baseball players as Shohei Ohtani struck out his Angels teammate and Team USA Captain Mike Trout to clinch the title with tens of millions of people watching around the globe.
During the excitement of the World Baseball Classic, the YouGov SportsIndex released its annual Buzz Score rankings of 200 global sports competitions and MLB topped the 2022 list of U.S. sports properties.
MLB also this week unveiled a suite of enhancements and upgrades to the award-winning MLB App. Available now in the App Store and Google Play, the updated mobile app includes cutting-edge features like following favorite players, to go along with a fresh design aimed to deliver an unparalleled fan experience. This season’s update comes 15 years after its groundbreaking debut as one of the first 500 apps in the Apple’s App Store on July 10, 2008. The MLB App has been updated with cleaner, more visual user experiences, and new feature enhancements are planned to roll out all season long.
Additionally, MLB and Nike unveiled the six teams participating in season three of the City Connect Uniform Series. The Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates join 14 Clubs that debuted City Connect uniforms the last two seasons and have made the jerseys, caps and socks collectively the most popular consumer product line in MLB history.
The 15 games on Opening Day will feature nine divisional contests and three Interleague games. The World Champion Houston Astros will open their campaign against the Chicago White Sox at Minute Maid Park at 7:08 p.m. (ET)/6:08 p.m. (CT) on ESPN’s exclusive national broadcast.
Opening Day will also feature the first MLB Network Showcase game of 2023 with the San Francisco Giants visiting the New York Yankees at 1:05 p.m. (ET). MLB Central (9:00 a.m. ET), High Heat (11:00 a.m. ET) start MLB Network’s live content, plus MLB Tonight (12:00 p.m. ET) will lead up to and follow the game. The complete Opening Day and 2023 season schedule is available here on MLB.com.
Baseball is Something Else
New Rules Videos
- Padres pitcher Blake Snell asks White Sox All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson to help him pick up his hat only to find Anderson is already strictly observing the new rule banning infielders from shifting.
- Burly Mets slugger Daniel Vogelbach (zero career stolen bases) considers the new rules a perfect opportunity to steal his first base to the consternation of his manager Buck Showalter.
- Veteran All-Star Joey Votto is pleasantly surprised by a ball he hits making it through a non-shifted infield.
- Yankees All-Star pitcher Nestor Cortes implores his catcher, Jose Trevino, to pick up the pace on a treadmill to get ready for the new pitch timer.
- Actor Bryan Cranston watches baseball clips and celebrates how baseball is the greatest game in the world, and now it’s even better with his one-of-a-kind delivery.
- Actor and comedian Sebastian Maniscalco appears in a series of short vignettes with youth league players where he uses his trademark style and attitude to highlight the changes to the game.
MLB created the player spots with production support from Still Films. The celebrity spots were created by MLB in partnership with Wheelhouse Labs & Kimmelot and directed by Jonathan Kimmel. After debuting on social media, the spots will appear across MLB Media outlets including MLB Network, MLB.com, MLB.TV; MLB broadcast partners including FOX/FS1, ESPN, TBS, and Apple; and across other paid digital media sites.
Nike MLB City Connect On-Field Debut Schedule
- Atlanta Braves: April 8
- Texas Rangers: April 21
- Seattle Mariners: May 5
- Cincinnati Reds: May 19
- Baltimore Orioles: May 26
- Pittsburgh Pirates: June 2