July 5, 2007, 12:00 AM

MLB Advanced Media adds more bases to its gift card program

MLB Advanced Media is working with Blackhawk Network Inc., a prepaid card and payments network and a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., to sell gift cards at participating retail locations that recipients can then use for purchases at MLB.com.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

 

MLB Advanced Media, the e-commerce arm of Major League Baseball, is developing a multi-channel gift card program that enlists retailers to sell cards that recipients can use to buy tickets or merchandise at MLB.com.

MLB Advanced Media is working with Blackhawk Network Inc., a prepaid card and payments network and a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., to sell gift cards in denominations of $25 and $50 at retail and grocery store chains such as Safeway, Giant Eagle Inc., Getgo Inc., CVS/Caremark Corp. and Kmart Corp.

Shoppers purchase a gift card at a participating store, where the card is activated after purchase. Once activated, the shopper can go to MLB.com, enter a code and redeem the gift card for merchandise or tickets. If the amount of the purchase is greater than the value of the gift card, shoppers must use a credit card to pay the balance and complete a transaction. Shoppers also have the option of storing unused gift card amounts on their user account at Shop.MLB.com.

MLB Advanced Media is working with Blackhawk because the company already develops and markets gift cards for several major league baseball teams, including The Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners, Atlanta Braves, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals. “Blackhawk’s network of retail locations will help fans both give and receive gifts from their favorite teams through the MLB.com card,” says MLB Advanced Media executive vice president of commerce and sponsorship Noah Garden.

MLB Advanced Media, which also sells gift cards online at MLB.com, is using gift cards and catalogs to sell across multiple channels. MLB Advanced Media, No. 84 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, launched a catalog in 2005.

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