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Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022
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Computer Maker Plugs Products to Dodgers Fans

A leading Taiwanese computer manufacturer is making its first pitch to the U.S. market with a surprising sponsorship of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Micro Star International announced last week a one-year deal to promote computer products in the Unites States, including an all-in-one personal computer and a smaller netbook device branded with the Dodgers logo.

The netbooks and limited-edition computers are targeted toward the Latino audience and are available for purchase at select retail locations of La Curacao, a popular ethnic L.A. department chain. MSI also is launching an outdoor advertising campaign and has a photo contest for Dodgers fans at La Curacao locations.

Jose Villa, president of Sensis, a Latino advertising agency based in Los Angeles, said the move makes sense, given the Dodgers’ large fan base of Latinos, who have lagged behind in computer adoption.

“The smartphone has become a PC replacement, especially for people from other countries who are used to using handheld devices instead of computers,” Villa said. “A company entering the (Latino) marketplace would have to have a lower-cost option with Internet access.”

Micro Star is selling its 10 inch-screen netbook at just $349. The all-in-one has a 21.5-inch touch screen and starts at $949. The products also are available through major online retailers such Amazon.com and Newegg.com.

As part of the deal, MSI provided the Dodgers with 200 new netbook computers for use by front-office staff and Dodgers players. The team refurbished its offices with the new computers earlier this year.

Micro Star International’s North American headquarters are in the City of Industry, where many Taiwanese companies are based.

Gooooaaallll!

Has the World Cup boosted fan interest in U.S. soccer? It remains to be seen, but at least one local team seems to be growing in popularity.

Major League Soccer’s Chivas USA will now be available for viewing 24 hours – on demand.

The team will have roughly 100 hours of content available monthly for its local Time Warner Cable subscribers. The programming will include highlights of games, player interviews and other soccer-related content.

Chivas USA, owned by Mexican businessman Jorge Vergara Madrigal, already has one of the most robust television contracts in all of Major League Soccer. The team has every game broadcast locally in English and Spanish. English-language broadcasts are spread across ESPN2, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports Prime Ticket and KDOC-TV. Spanish-language games are available on ESPN Deportes, Fox Sports en Espanol, TeleFutura and KWHY-TV.

The Los Angeles Galaxy has all of its games broadcast in English and several games also available on television in Spanish. Currently, the Galaxy has a sponsorship agreement with Time Warner Cable, but does not yet have an on-demand channel.

Soccer has been a popular sport for the cable provider. It has put all 64 games from the FIFA World Cup on a free channel for subscribers.

Driver’s Seat

Southern California Mercedes-Benz Dealers have reached an agreement with the Southern California Tennis Association to become the presenting sponsor of this month’s 2010 Farmers Classic tennis tournament at UCLA.

The professional men’s tennis event reached a three-year agreement to bring back Mercedes-Benz after the dealership group had downgraded from its title sponsorship when the economy soured last year. Farmers Insurance Group, based in Los Angeles, announced in June that it was becoming the title sponsor.

“The tournament has always been popular with our dealers,” said Larkin Hill, Mercedes-Benz USA spokeswoman. “It has a great audience and we value it.”

Terms of the deal call for Mercedes-Benz to provide official player transportation during the weeklong event that will run July 26-Aug. 1 at the UCLA Tennis Center. It will also have signage on court and vehicles on display.

In addition to the local tournament, Mercedes-Benz USA is entering the first year of a three-year deal as presenting sponsor of the US Open Series, a six-week slate of 10 tournaments for men and women that leads up to the US Open in Flushing Meadows, N.Y.

Box Score

L.A.-based Fox Soccer Channel, a subsidiary of News Corp., has announced a sponsorship of the U.S. FIFA World Cup Bid for either 2018 or 2022. The bid was submitted in May and host countries will be announced in December. … El Segundo-based DirecTV will have unprecedented coverage of golf’s British Open this week. The satellite television provider will have 35 hours of coverage over four days, which more than doubles last year’s 15 hours.

Staff reporter David Nusbaum can be reached at dnusbaum@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 236.

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