SOURCE: Sharp

Sharp

June 10, 2009 08:30 ET

Sharp® Launches Major League Baseball® Portal to Provide Fans With Exclusive Sharp AQUOS® and MLB Content

Portal Gives Fans Unparalleled Access to Sharp MLB Players, Promotions and Events

MAHWAH, NJ--(Marketwire - June 10, 2009) - Sharp, a worldwide leader in flat-panel Liquid Crystal Televisions (LCD TVs) and the Official HDTV Sponsor of Major League Baseball (MLB), today announced the launch of the Sharp MLB online portal at www.sharpmlb.com, powered by MLB.com. Leveraging Sharp's relationship with MLB Advanced Media, the portal grants fans behind-the-scenes access to Sharp's lineup of MLB athletes, a schedule of player appearances and retail promotions, information on Sharp's high-definition AQUOS LCD TVs, and chances to win both Sharp AQUOS and MLB prizes through ongoing sweepstakes and trivia. The interactive site allows fans to become a part of the action, from voting on player awards to following the personal blogs of Sharp's MLB athletes, to learning about the cutting-edge features of Sharp AQUOS LCD TVs that bring the game to life.

The web portal, created by Continuity, the digital arm of Sharp's advertising agency, McGarry-Bowen, and MLB Advanced Media, is the home base to a multi-tier marketing program that will house essential information for Sharp AQUOS promotions activated during the 2009 season. Information currently housed on the portal represents the first phase of the marketing program, and the second phase, anchored by a national promotion, will be launched during baseball's 2009 All-Star Game®.

"Our relationship with MLB and MLB Advanced Media allows us to provide fans with opportunities and information that they can't find anywhere else, from meeting their favorite player at retail appearances to giving them the chance to throw out the first pitch," said Judah Zeigler, Associate Vice President, Retail and Consumer Marketing, Sharp Electronics Corporation. "Now, with the launch of SharpMLB.com, consumers can engage with our brand and find this inside information at a one-stop digital location."

The portal will be frequently updated with new information, contests and trivia, and will include the following key elements:

2009 Sharp MLB Team

In conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Association, Sharp will again team up with an all-star roster of MLB athletes to promote Sharp AQUOS LCD TVs and enhance Sharp's MLB sponsorship through retail, consumer promotions and events throughout the 2009 baseball season. In this section of the portal, fans will have "insider access" to player information, including personal blogs, biographies, trivia, photos and updates on players' statistics throughout the season.

Sharp & MLB Near You

Not only will fans be able to interact with their favorite players online, but the "Sharp & MLB Near You" section of the portal will serve as a valuable resource for upcoming player appearances, retail promotions and other Sharp-hosted MLB events across the country. Fans can check back often for chances to win Sharp AQUOS LCD TVs, box seats, private tours of their favorite stadiums and many more exclusive offers in their favorite baseball city.

Sharp Presents the Player of the Month Award

Adding to the interactivity of the portal, visitors to the site will have the chance to win their own Sharp AQUOS LCD TV by guessing the recipients of the Sharp Presents the MLB Player of the Month Award. Selected fans who guess correctly will receive a special gift courtesy of Sharp. The Sharp Presents the Player of the Month Award honors a player from the American and National leagues for each month of the regular season. The honorees are chosen by a panel of sportswriters and editors from across the country, and receive a plaque and 52-inch screen size class Sharp AQUOS LCD TV.

Win a Sharp TV

Every visitor to the portal has the chance to win one of several prizes, from a Sharp-branded cap to a large-screen AQUOS LCD TV, to a trip to the 2009 World Series. This section of the site is the go-to source for all of the current on-line contests and promotions.

Sharp & MLB Alliance

For fans looking to learn about the history and natural affinity between Sharp and MLB, this section explains how MLB chose Sharp as its official HDTV sponsor. Sharp's AQUOS LCD TVs capture every detail of the game in high-definition clarity, providing exceptional picture quality for fans viewing the action from home. When MLB implemented instant replay in 2008, Sharp's AQUOS LCDs were the HDTVs of choice for all of the MLB ballparks. The MLB Advanced Media Control Center, the technological hub for the instant replay reviews for all ballparks, is also outfitted exclusively with Sharp AQUOS LCD TVs.

About AQUOS

Sharp's AQUOS line of LCD TVs offer an unbeatable combination of outstanding picture quality, advanced environmental performance and stylish designs that fit seamlessly into any décor. Available in a wide range of screen size classes and models, there's a Sharp AQUOS LCD TV that meets virtually any baseball lover's needs.

For more information on Sharp's full line of Liquid Crystal Televisions, visit Sharp's Web site at www.sharpusa.com.

About Major League Baseball Properties

The Major League Baseball Clubs formed Major League Baseball Properties (MLBP) in 1966 as the Clubs' agent for marketing and trademark licensing and protection. Major League Baseball Properties is responsible for managing consumer licensing activities, developing national advertising campaigns, cultivating sponsorship opportunities with major consumer brands and corporations, growing the game and the business of baseball outside the United States and creating national marketing programs in conjunction with Clubs, broadcast rightsholders and national sponsors. MLBP also operates a full-service video and audio production unit (Major League Baseball Productions), a publishing division and stock photo licensing agency, and manages logistics for the All-Star Game and World Series as well as all other special events. For more information on Major League Baseball, log on to www.MLB.com.

About MLB Advanced Media

Established in June 2000 following a unanimous vote by the 30 Major League Baseball club owners to centralize all of Baseball's Internet operations, MLB Advanced Media LP (MLBAM) is the interactive media and internet company of Major League Baseball. MLBAM manages the official league site, www.MLB.com, and each of the 30 individual Club sites to create the most comprehensive Major League Baseball resource on the Internet. MLB.com offers fans the most complete baseball information and interactivity on the web, including up-to-date statistics, game previews and summaries, extensive historical information, online ticket sales, baseball merchandise, authenticated memorabilia and collectibles, fantasy games, live full-game video webcasts and on-demand highlights, live and archived audio broadcasts of every game, Gameday pitch-by-pitch application, around-the-clock hosted and specialty video programming and complete blogging capabilities. MLB.com offers more live events on the Internet than any other website in the world.

About the Major League Baseball Players Association

The Major League Baseball Players Association (www.MLBPLAYERS.com) is the collective bargaining representative for all professional baseball players of the thirty Major League Baseball teams and serves as the exclusive group licensing agent for commercial and licensing activities involving active Major League baseball players. On behalf of its members, it operates the Players Choice licensing program and Players Choice Awards, which benefit the needy through the Major League Baseball Players Trust, a charitable foundation established and run entirely by Major League baseball players.

Sharp Electronics Corporation is the U.S. subsidiary of Japan's Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer of one-of-a-kind home entertainment products, appliances, networked multifunctional office solutions, solar energy solutions and mobile communication and information tools. Leading brands include AQUOS® Liquid Crystal Televisions, 1-Bit™ digital audio products, SharpVision® projection products, Insight® Microwave Drawer® appliances, Plasmacluster® air purifiers, and Notevision® multimedia projectors. For more information visit Sharp Electronics Corporation at www.sharpusa.com

AQUOS is a registered trademark of Sharp Corporation.

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