When Kris Bryant was sent to AAA Iowa last week, Adidas – with whom Bryant has an endorsement agreement – tweeted this:
— adidas Baseball (@adidasBaseball) March 30, 2015
Since then, they’ve stepped it up with this:
— adidas Baseball (@adidasBaseball) April 3, 2015
If you’re wondering what that is, it’s what you think it is:
— Jeremy Darlow (@JeremyDarlow) April 4, 2015
That’s a billboard across the street from Wrigley Field, saying that Kris Bryant is “worth the wait” – an obvious dig at the Cubs’ decision not to open the season with Bryant in the big leagues.
I’m a little torn. On the one hand, there’s something disconcerting about having this huge billboard shrine to a player who’s not yet even on the Cubs, looming over his future teammates. It almost looks menacing. It also puts even more pressure on Bryant when he does arrive.
On the other hand, it’s effective, clever promotion, and baseball needs stars. Kris Bryant, if the bat is anything like we hope, is a future star. He’s talented, tall, handsome, generous, and well-spoken. That’s exactly the kind of guy MLB wants to see promoted (not to mention Adidas), and stunts like this get attention for the game. That’s a good thing. And I’m not sure Bryant even knows what pressure is. If any 23-year-old can handle it, it’s Bryant.
Your thoughts? I think it’s a mild distraction, but Bryant’s been destined for billboards for years. This was going to happen eventually anyway, and it’s not like this story was going away. It definitely succeeds in building the excitement.