When one thinks about baseball, there are several things that come to mind. The sound of the ball striking the bat. The smells of the ballpark and the freshly cut grass. Beer, hotdogs and Cracker Jacks. Now, if Sanrio has their way, Hello Kitty may become a part of those thoughts.
Sep 5, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Hello Kitty (left) and designer Yuko Yamaguchi throw out the first pitch before the MLB game between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Sanrio, the makers of Hello Kitty, have announced that they will now be making their universally recognized cuteness for all 30 MLB teams. This follows a trial last season, where Hello Kitty merchandise had been created for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels and the San Diego Padres.
David Marchi, Sr., the Director of Brand Management and Marketing for Sanrio, feels that this will be a mutually beneficial relationship.
"“Major League Baseball and Hello Kitty both have an avid, passionate fan base,” said Marchi. “Our new relationship with MLB offers fans a wide selection of products and invites them to show their team spirit as well as their love for Hello Kitty.”"
As odd as it may seem to be able to purchase a Hello Kitty Royals shirt, this may end up being a great way to help attract the younger demographic to baseball. A staple among younger females, pairing Hello Kitty and baseball could be a way to generate interest in the game to that particular segment of the fanbase.
Baseball, as a slower sport, is considered to have difficulty in appealing to the younger crowd. Teams do their best to attempt to keep younger fans engaged, with mascots such as the Royals Sluggerrr and the KCrew. Yet, there is something about the appeal of Hello Kitty that may bring in that elusive young female group. With teams scheduling Hello Kitty promotions, the Royals may not be far behind.
Given the popularity of Hello Kitty, this pairing is certainly not a surprise. It is just surprising that this arrangement did not happen earlier.