Mastercard and MLB Announce Home Team Advantage Small Business Contest
Just in time for the annual All Star Game, this week, Mastercard and Major League Baseball announced that they were extending their long-held partnership. More importantly, the two entities also revealed that they’re teaming up for the Home Team Advantage Small Business Contest.
This edition of the contest is open to business owners in three baseball cities: Los Angeles, Boston, and Atlanta. One grand prize winner from each of these three cities will win $10,000 and a trip for them and a guest to attend a 2021 MLB World Series game (including airfare, hotel, tickets, a $100 MasterCard gift card for food and beverages). Additionally, each winning business will be celebrated in their home ballpark with a half-inning digital advertisement on an LED screen during a game, a pre-game videoboard logo graphic, and a suite hosting opportunity for the winner and several guests. Note that these in-stadium assets and prizes may vary depending on the winner’s home city.
On top of those perks and prizes, Home Team Advantage Small Business contest winners will also have access to Mastercard’s Digital Doors toolkit. Intended to help businesses grow their digital footprint, this package includes services from Jobble, Microsoft Advertising, SimplyPayMe, Zoho, and more. Finally, winning entrepreneurs will enjoy a personal mentorship with a Mastercard Small Business Executive.
To qualify, businesses must have their primary office located in one of the three cities and employ no more than 50 individuals on a full or part-time basis. Entries for the contest will open on July 15th and close on August 1st. Entrants will need to submit a presentation in PDF format detailing their business and answering five questions related to the impact of COVID-19 on their business, how entrepreneurs plan to utilize digital outlets to grow their business, and more. Five finalists will then participate in a Virtual Business Pitch, with the highest-scoring business owner being declared the grand prize winner. Details about what these presentations and pitches should include as well as the official rules for the contest can be found at Mastercard.com/HomeTeamAdvantage.
Commenting on the inspiration for the contest, Mastercard’s EVP of Marketing and Communications in North America Cheryl Guerin said, “While small businesses had to contend with extreme challenges throughout the pandemic, they demonstrated exceptional resilience and determination in the process,” adding, “Alongside our partners at MLB, we’re committed to celebrating and supporting the small businesses that serve as the backbone of our communities and are thrilled to provide the resources and digital tools to help them continue to grow and thrive.”
Throughout the pandemic, several of these small businesses-centric contests have emerged, often offering a combination of cash prizes, services, and personal assistance. Mastercard and MLB’s Home Team Advantage Small Business Contest follows that format but adds the twist of promoting these winning businesses inside famed American ballparks. Although only a few select small businesses will ultimately benefit from this promotion, it’s always great to see big businesses supporting smaller ones — especially when it’s in a fun way such as this. For entrepreneurs in L.A., Boston, or Atlanta, good luck!