In a joint promotion for the new season -- and for the Freeway Series exhibition games at the end of spring training -- a billboard unveiled Tuesday features the pictures of National League most valuable player Clayton Kershaw and American League most valuable player Mike Trout and the words, "Is your MVP red or blue"?
The cost of the two billboards -- the one that was unveiled Tuesday at Wilshire Boulevard and Highland Avenue in midtown Los Angeles and another to come in Anaheim -- will be split between the teams, Erik Braverman, Dodgers vice president of marketing, said. Neither Angels Vice President of Marketing Robert Alvarado nor Braverman could recall the teams previously cooperating on a joint promotion.
The billboard concept originated with the Angels and grew out of talks between the teams on how each could benefit from the NL and AL MVPs playing in the same market. The goal is to celebrate the return of baseball in Southern California, not to fuel a rivalry between the Dodgers and Angels.
"Both of us share the same goal," Braverman said. "We want to sell out our ballparks as much as possible."
Alvarado said the location of the first billboard -- in the heart of Los Angeles, eight miles from Dodger Stadium -- was chosen for its proximity to local television stations, should those stations wish to feature the ad on local newscasts. He also said the ad would not trigger a billboard campaign.
"This is a little bit more of a social media play," Alvarado said. "We needed some kind of platform to launch it."
He said the location of the first billboard was not intended to slight Orange County fans.
Each team issued a news release Tuesday to announce the billboard. The wording in each release was nearly identical, although the Angels called their team "the Los Angeles Angels" and the Dodgers called them "the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim."
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