Minor League Baseball and Marvel Entertainment announced a promotional three-year partnership at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, home of the “Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes” exhibit.
Starting next season, the program will feature 96 different Minor League clubs across all four levels hosting one or more super hero theme nights involving popular Marvel characters -- complete with specialized jerseys, of course -- along with other Marvel-themed activities and promotions taking place throughout the games. The deal was facilitated by AthLife, Inc, Marvel’s longtime sports representative
The event series is officially called "Marvel's Defenders of the Diamond" and will also come with its own run of comic books, which will be distributed at participating ballparks. "Co-branded merchandise and other surprises will be unveiled in 2022."
"This partnership is more than about driving attendance -- it's about fans of the Minor Leagues and Marvel getting to experience baseball in a whole other way with Marvel character appearances, Marvel-themed uniforms, social media engagement, storytelling, in-stadium graphics to name just a few," said AthLife, CEO Jon Harris, "Of course, it would not be Marvel if we were not holding some things back, so expect some surprises along the way."
MLB vice president of Minor League business operations Kurt Hunzeker. added “MiLB’s new partnership with Marvel Entertainment brings together two storied brands who create memories that are passed down from generation to generation. The possibilities with this partnership are endless and we look forward to some incredibly creative content, merchandise and promotions."
Marvel has a long history of superhero team-ups, dating back to its first comic book in 1939 that introduced the Human Torch and Namor the Sub-Mariner. That began in the comics with the Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four and Guardians of the Galaxy, among many others, and has extended through the Marvel Cinematic Universe that began in 2008 with Tony Stark and Iron Man.
Like any good origin story, this is just the start of fans getting to know Marvel's Defenders of the Diamond. Twists and turns and endless possibilities await both Marvel true believers and Minor League Baseball fans in 2022 and beyond.
"We have only just started exploring the new Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond universe of content," Hunzeker added, "and we cannot wait to explore the endless possibilities and potential integrating Marvel’s award-winning creativity with Minor League Baseball’s award-winning creativity to tell new stories about our players, teams, communities, and most of all our fans, starting with the 2022 season."
“Over the past few years, we have seen the fans of Minor League Baseball truly embrace Marvel-themed games, so having a nearly league-wide partnership will allow us to take creativity and storytelling to the next level,” said Mike Pasciullo, Marvel Entertainment’s Vice President, Product Development and Marketing – Brand, Franchise & Sports. “And it wouldn't be Marvel if we did not have a few major surprises to unveil along the way!”
As part of the wide array of custom content it will create for the new initiative, Marvel will create a “Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond” comic book for MiLB fans that will be distributed in participating MiLB ballparks throughout the partnership. Co-branded merchandise and other surprises will be unveiled in 2022.
Our local Minor League Team ... Fort Myers Mighty Mussels will be participating in the Marvel partnership.
Fans may visit milb.com/marvel for the latest information/updates on the “Marvel’s Defenders of the Diamond” series.