Visit any baseball stadium in the country and you’ll likely hear cries of “Hot dogs heeeeere! Got your hot dogs heeeeeere!” But while encased meats are as ubiquitous at ball games as peanuts and cracker jack, Major League Baseball has never raised one hot dog above the rest as its official wiener in its 141 years. Until now.
While every ballpark offers its own selection of hot dogs, bratwursts, and other sausages, MLB announced today that Nathan’s Famous Inc. will be the official hot dog sponsor of the league. The league has had other food sponsors like Papa John’s and previously, Taco Bell, Bloomberg points out, but never an official hot dog deal.
Before anyone freaks out about the potential loss of their favorite stadium hot dog brand, the “official” designation will not change the menu at your ballpark. It’s more about advertising and branding.
The financial terms of the deal aren’t public, but Nathan’s will have the right to use MLB trademarks in advertising. As part of their new friendship, Nathan’s will support the league’s “Play Ball” initiative which aims to get children involved in baseball and softball.
Again, if you’re a fan of the Usinger’s racing sausages during Brewers games at Miller Park, there is no need to worry: Individual sponsorships with individual teams and their stadiums will remain.
To that end, it will be business as usual for fans of the Mets, Yankees, Marlins, and Cardinals, who are used to scarfing down Nathan’s at their home parks.