Sports business junkie Darren Rovell is all over the MLB/Taco Bell synergistic promotion. And why not? Sports advertising is his
bread-and-butter taco shell-and-hot sauce. Today, he reveals to an unknowing blogosphere (read: me) that the player who stole the first base of the World Series had to agree to endorse shitty Taco Bell tacos before the country would win themselves a free taco. Rovell telephoned Jason Bartlett's agent Ryan Ware to get all the relevant details.
Ware told me that before the game the MLB Players Association had called the agents of the players involved in the game, making sure that they were aware of the situation and were willing to be part of the promotion if their player stole the base.
After Bartlett stole the base, Ware, who was sitting next to Bartlett's parents and wife at the game, got on his phone and found out what the deal would be. Part of it, he said, would include Jason saying a couple words about Taco Bell in the locker room after the game. So he sent a text message to Bartlett not to leave the clubhouse before doing this quick voiceover that the company could use in a commercial.
That sounds downright despicable to me. It's as if the Yum! Brands bigwigs, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball corporation, warned players that were they to steal a base in the World Series, they'd have the bittersweet 'privilege' to endorse horrific faux-Mexican food in exchange for a few pesos.
Ware didn't tell Rovell how much his client would be earning for the purloined base but mentioned that Bartlett stood to earn significantly more if he showed up at a Taco Bell 'restaurant' on the day of the promotion. Maybe he can pick a local St. Petersburg franchise and hook up with former Devil Ray Steve Cox, currently operating the churros fryer.