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Press Release

12/19/2012 4:51 PM ET
Brand USA and Delta Air Lines sign on as global partners of 2013 World Baseball Classic

Brand USA, the new tourism marketing organization for the United States, and Delta Air Lines have signed on as global partners for the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Both sponsors will be incorporated into all aspects of the event, with full integration across the seven venues of the tournament and on all media platforms worldwide. Each partner will also conduct comprehensive international marketing campaigns.

The Brand USA partnership with the 2013 World Baseball Classic is an integrated program comprised of international TV broadcast exposure, Brand USA TV, print and digital advertising, social media programs and other promotions, as well as event signage in Japan and Taiwan. Through the partnership, Brand USA expects to raise awareness of, and interest in, travel to the United States from international in-bound travelers -- with the world's growing love of baseball and the excitement of the World Baseball Classic as the backdrop.

As the official airline of the 2013 World Baseball Classic, Delta will be the tournament's preferred carrier for the more than 3,000 commercial flights needed for players, team personnel and tournament staff. Delta will also provide 14 charter flights to transport teams between each round of the tournament.

"The World Baseball Classic is an event that brings fans from around the globe together to celebrate the game. It is fitting that Delta Air Lines and Brand USA -- two companies that are also dedicated to bringing people together -- are partnering with the 2013 tournament at the global level," said Paul Archey, senior vice president, International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. "We are pleased to have Delta and Brand USA on board and look forward to working with them in the lead up to next March."

"The World Baseball Classic provides a great platform and unique opportunities for its sponsors to further their reach and enhance their images, by reaching millions of passionate baseball fans spread across the globe -- fans who are loyal to the core," said Timothy Slavin, member of the World Baseball Classic Inc. Board of Directors. "We're excited to have Brand USA and Delta Air Lines join the World Baseball Classic lineup, and we're confident their sponsorship activation will benefit all involved, including the players and the fans."

"Being the official worldwide carrier of the World Baseball Classic supports Delta's vision to do more business on a global scale. This partnership reflects Delta as a premier global carrier," said Steve Sear, senior vice president, Global Sales, Delta Air Lines. "What better way than in the spirit of competition and in conjunction with professional baseball. Delta has a long history of service with baseball; including partnerships with our hometown Atlanta Braves as well as six other MLB clubs."

"The World Baseball Classic provides Brand USA a unique opportunity to reach hundreds of millions of potential travelers from core international inbound travel markets to the United States through a fully integrated and highly interactive campaign," said Michael Carroll, vice president, Partner Marketing, Brand USA. "In addition to significant international advertising and digital exposure, the campaign also provides opportunities for our U.S. host city partners to leverage the international appeal of baseball to inspire more travelers to come to the United States and discover this land like never before."

The 2013 World Baseball Classic, which is the third edition of the tournament, will feature the world's best players representing their countries and territories. Thirty-nine games will be played in seven venues in four nations and territories from March 2 through March 19, 2013. Team Japan is the two-time defending champion of the World Baseball Classic, having won in 2006 and 2009.

For the first time, four qualifiers were held for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which expanded the competitive field from 16 to 28 countries. Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei and Spain emerged from the qualifiers to earn spots in the March 2013 event. Those four qualifier teams will join the teams of the 12 countries/terrirories -- Australia, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela -- that received automatic invitations based on their performances in the 2009 tournament.

In the United States, MLB Network will be the exclusive English-language broadcast partner for all 39 games of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. The semifinal and final games will take place March 17-19 at San Francisco's AT&T Park, hosted by the San Francisco Giants. Second-round games will be held in the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo from March 8-12 and at Marlins Park in Miami from March 12-16. First-round games will be held at the Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome in Fukuoka, Japan, from March 2-6; at Intercontinental Stadium from March 2-5 in Taichung, Taiwan; at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from March 7-10; and at Chase Field and Salt River Fields at Talking Stick in Phoenix from March 7-10.