MetLife Signs on as Global Sponsor of 2013 World Baseball Classic

  MetLife Signs on as Global Sponsor of 2013 World Baseball Classic

         Title Sponsor of the MetLife All-World Baseball Classic Team

             MetLife Blimps to Provide Unique Broadcast Footage

Business Wire

NEW YORK -- February 14, 2013

MetLife has signed on to be a Global Sponsor and the Official Insurance
Company of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. MetLife, and its brand ambassador
Snoopy, will be incorporated into multiple aspects of the event including
in-stadium exposure and on worldwide media platforms. MetLife, a leading
global insurer operating in 46 countries worldwide, is joining Brand USA,
Delta Air Lines and Konami as the fourth Global Sponsor of the tournament.

MetLife's brand ambassador, Snoopy, is shown at the headquarters of the World
Baseball Classic in Ne ...

MetLife's brand ambassador, Snoopy, is shown at the headquarters of the World
Baseball Classic in New York City, for the announcement of MetLife's global
sponsorship of the World Baseball Classic. (Photo: Business Wire)

As part of the agreement, MetLife will be the title sponsor of the All-World
Baseball Classic Team. The MetLife All-World Baseball Classic Team will be
comprised of the best performers at each position during the tournament.
Players selected to the previous two teams have included two-time tournament
M.V.P. Daisuke Matsuzaka (Pitcher, Japan – 2006 and 2009), Ken Griffey Jr.
(Outfielder, USA – 2006), Adrian Beltre (Third baseman, Dominican Republic –
2006) and Hyun-Soo Kim (DH, Korea – 2009).

MetLife’s long experience and expertise in covering premier sporting events
from above will allow it to provide dynamic aerial coverage from its blimps –
Snoopy One, Snoopy Two and Snoopy J. The MetLife blimps will be flying above
all the games played in Phoenix, Arizona; Miami, Florida; Tokyo, Japan and in
San Francisco, California. A camera will be in each blimp capturing scenic
aerial footage, as well as crucial in-game moments, that will be incorporated
into the game broadcasts on MLB Network, ESPN Deportes and the worldwide feed
being distributed to more than 200 countries and territories.

To add to the excitement and fan experience at the games, Snoopy, donning a
World Baseball Classic jersey, will be making special appearances, interacting
with fans and distributing gifts.

"With such a strong presence in the global marketplace, MetLife is
well-positioned to illuminate its brand message across the expansive World
Baseball Classic platform," said Paul Archey, Senior Vice President,
International Business Operations, Major League Baseball. "MetLife will have a
variety of touch points, both inside and outside the tournament venues, fully
integrating them into the event program this March."

"It’s an honor to welcome MetLife to the World Baseball Classic’s roster of
Global Sponsors," said Timothy Slavin, member of the World Baseball Classic
Board of Directors. "The World Baseball Classic looks forward to working with
MetLife, Snoopy and the entire Peanuts gang to help shine a spotlight on the
world’s greatest players competing for national pride and global bragging
rights. We’re confident MetLife’s global brand awareness will be enhanced and
strengthened by its association with the world’s premier international
baseball tournament."

"Many of the countries fielding World Baseball Classic teams are also
countries where MetLife is a leading insurer," said Richard Hong, vice
president of brand, advertising & promotion, MetLife. "With MetLife’s strong
presence in Japan and Korea where the sport is widely popular, and with market
leading positions in countries like Mexico and the U.S., millions of our
customers and thousands of our employees are looking forward to watching some
of the world’s best play baseball this March."

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. The World Baseball Classic, which is officially sanctioned by the
International Baseball Federation (IBAF), will for the first time in 2013 be
recognized as the official national team World Championship, with the winner
being crowned the 2013 World Baseball Classic Champion and the IBAF World
Champion.

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/territories – 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 while ESPN Deportes will be the
Spanish-language partner. The Semi-Final and Final games will take place from
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, Japan from March
8-12 and at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida 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, Arizona from March 7-10.

About the World Baseball Classic

The World Baseball Classic is the premier international baseball tournament,
sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation, and features the best
players in the world competing for their home countries and territories. More
than 1.5 million fans from all over the world have attended the tournament
games, held in March 2006 and 2009. Team Japan is the reigning World Baseball
Classic Champion, taking home both the inaugural and 2009 titles. The upcoming
World Baseball Classic will be played in March 2013 and will again feature the
greatest baseball-playing nations in the world. The tournament will be held
every four years thereafter.

About World Baseball Classic, Inc.

World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) is a company created at the direction of
Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association
(MLBPA) to operate the World Baseball Classic tournament. The tournament,
which is sanctioned by the International Baseball Federation (IBAF), is
supported by MLB, the MLBPA, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB), the Korea
Baseball Organization (KBO), their respective players associations and other
leagues and players from around the world.

About the International Baseball Federation

The International Baseball Federation (IBAF) is the world governing body for
baseball, comprising 122 national member federations. Together with its member
federations, the IBAF is dedicated to the promotion, development, and
organization of baseball around the world. The IBAF is the sole entity
recognized by the International Olympic Committee for overseeing and
sanctioning all national team competition. The IBAF headquarters are located
in Lausanne, Switzerland.

About MetLife

MetLife, Inc. is a leading global provider of insurance, annuities and
employee benefit programs, serving 90 million customers. Through its
subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife holds leading market positions in the
United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York, NY 10166.

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Contact:

Major League Baseball
Matt Bourne / Sarah Leer
212-931-7878
@WBCBaseball
or
Major League Baseball Players Association
Greg Bouris, 212-826-0808
 
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