New York, NY (8/8/07) – Triple-A Baseball and Marvel Entertainment have teamed up for an exclusive partnership that brings together two true forms of Americana– baseball and comic books. The first wave of the partnership hits throughout August where on select dates all 30 Triple-A teams will be handing out an exclusive baseball-themed comic book featuring Marvel characters Spider-Man™, Iron-Man™, the Fantastic Four™ and the Incredible Hulk™.
The book, entitled “Triple-A Baseball Heroes,” puts the Marvel Super Heroes in the middle of the Triple-A all-star event alongside the League’s ever-popular mascots. The book is penciled by Marvel artist Robert Adkins, inked by Rick Ketchum and Drew Geraci, and written by Chris Eliopoulos. The books will ONLY be available at the stadiums and will have the teams logo embossed on their particular cover. In addition, one of the top up and coming artists, British painter John Watson (Uncanny X-Men, Civil War: Frontline, Incredible Hulk) has created three variant covers for the events in Buffalo, Durham and Memphis. In each of those cities the cover of their book will be completely unique and exclusive to their cities.
The “Triple-A Baseball Heroes” comic book sees Marvel’s legendary Super Hero family the Fantastic Four and their children, Franklin and Valeria enjoy a day off at the ballpark for an exciting game between the International and Pacific Coast leagues. Peter Parker (Spider-Man) is also making a day of it with Aunt May and hoping to get in a few photos for the Daily Bugle as well. Additionally, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is on hand to throw out the first pitch. Seeing the excitement of the fans and the potential financial windfall, Stark also considers making an investment in the League; however, fans, players and heroes all get more excitement than they bargained for when the villainous Sandman appears and the Incredible Hulk is there to tag him out! It all adds up to a Marvelous day for an amazing sport and fantastic League.
For Triple-A Baseball, which prides itself on delivering a family friendly experience on and off-the-field, the partnership brings to them one of the most family friendly brands in the market in Marvel. Randy Mobley, International League President commented, “Triple-A Baseball is not only pleased, but honored to be taking this first step in a partnership with Marvel Entertainment. The opportunity to unite our two industries for the benefit of our collective fans is quite exciting. With both Triple-A Baseball and Marvel being known for creativity in their own right, the sky is the limit on where this relationship can go. “
Bob Sabouni, VP Business Development, Marvel Entertainment added, “It is exciting that Triple-A baseball sees the Marvel Universe as a captivating way to enhance its relationship with families. We look forward to building a partnership with them that goes well beyond this initial comic book program.”
TRIPLE-A EVENT DATES
All teams listed with their giveaway date.
Albuquerque Isotopes – Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Buffalo Bisons – Sunday, August 12, 2007
Charlotte Knights – Sunday, August 19, 2007
Colorado Springs Sky Sox – Sunday, August 12, 2007
Columbus Clippers – Sunday, August 5, 2007
Durham Bulls – Thursday, August 16,, 2007
Fresno Grizzlies – Friday, August 03, 2007
Indianapolis Indians – Saturday, August 11, 2007
Iowa Cubs – Sunday, August 5, 2007
Las Vegas 51s – Saturday, August 11, 2007
Louisville Bats – Sunday, August 12, 2007
Memphis Redbirds – Saturday, August 11, 2007
Nashville Sounds – Friday, August 17, 2007
New Orleans Zephyrs – Saturday, August 18, 2007
Norfolk Tides – Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Oklahoma RedHawks – Friday, August 17, 2007
Omaha Royals – Monday, August 20, 2007
Ottawa Lynx – Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Pawtucket Red Sox – Friday, August 31, 2007
Portland Beavers – Sunday, September 02, 2007
Richmond Braves – Sunday, September 02, 2007
Rochester Red Wings – Sunday, August 12, 2007
Round Rock Express – Monday, August 20, 2007
Sacramento River Cats – Sunday, August 05, 2007
Salt Lake Bees – Monday, August 13, 2007
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees – Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Syracuse Chiefs – Saturday, August 25, 2007
Tacoma Rainiers – Saturday, August 4, 2007
Toledo Mud Hens – Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Tucson Sidewinders – Saturday, August 11, 2007
About Triple-A Baseball: Triple-A Baseball, consisting of two Leagues at Minor League Baseball’s highest classification, is made up of 30 teams (29 U.S./1 Canada) throughout North America which develop talent for Major League affiliates while providing affordable entertainment for fans of all ages. From Sacramento to Charlotte, Triple-A Baseball is played in cities with cumulative MSAs of nearly 40 million people. Attendance in Triple-A ballparks has risen from 9.5 million in 1990 to just under 14 million in 2006!
Triple-A Baseball’s senior circuit is the International League, which is in its 124th consecutive season of operation in 2007. The IL spans from Ottawa to the north, Indianapolis to the west, and Charlotte to the south. The 2007 campaign marks the 104th season of operation for the IL’s counterpart, the Pacific Coast League. The PCL has an expansive geography, stretching primarily west of the Mississippi River to include cities from Nashville to Sacramento and New Orleans to Tacoma.
The Triple-A Baseball season is highlighted by two nationally televised events. Each July, the best players from the two Leagues compete in the Triple-A All-Star Game. The three-day event, showcasing one of Triple-A’s multi-million dollar ballparks, also includes a fan fest, media events, and the Triple-A Home Run Derby. The season concludes in Oklahoma City with the Bricktown Showdown, a one-game winner-take-all finale between the champions of each League.
Nearly every current Major League standout spent time playing in Triple-A, including Barry Bonds, Ryan Howard, Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, and Johann Santana. Triple-A Baseball has produced many of the game’s all-time greats throughout the years. Over 160 former Triple-A players, managers, umpires, and executives are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, including such legends as Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams.
About Marvel Entertainment:
With a library of over 5,000 characters, Marvel Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: MVL – News) is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies. Marvel’s operations are focused on utilizing its character franchises in licensing, entertainment, publishing and toys. Areas of emphasis include feature films, DVD/home video, consumer products, video games, action figures and role-playing toys, television and promotions. Rooted in the creative success of over sixty years of comic book publishing, Marvel’s strategy is to leverage its character franchises in a growing array of opportunities around the world. For more information visit www.marvel.com.
About John Watson: Artist John Watson lives in the North West of England with his wife and two children and works from his home studio. Watson is best known for his work as a cover artist for both Marvel and DC Comics on such titles as Hawkman, JSA, Son of M, Uncanny X-Men and Silent War. Working primarily in oil on canvas, he produces a fine art look unusual in the comic book industry. A lifelong comic book fan, he also admires the work of Norman Rockwell and this influence can be seen in many of his paintings. Currently working as cover artist for the Marvel Comics World War Hulk: Frontline series.
About Robert Adkins: A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design, Atkins first worked as a G.I. JOE artist penciling Snake-Eyes: Declassified. Since then, he has worked as an inker on Forgotten Realms and G.I. JOE Special Missions titles Tokyo and Antarctica. Most recently Atkins has penciled the third installment of Dreadnoks: Declassified. He is also a member of the comic artist’s group Tsunami-Studios. Atkins resides in Illinois with his wife Laura, and one-year-old son Connor.
About Chris Eliopolous: Chris Eliopoulos is an Eisner and Harvey nominated writer/cartoonist who is currently doing Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius for Marvel Comics. He has also created his own self-published comic, Desperate Times, from Image Comics. His web comic, Misery Loves Sherman, appears online daily; he also wrote a golf-centered comic strip for Sports Illustrated magazine. He has written and drawn thousands of cartoons for the Complete Idiots Guide books and, as a letterer, has lettered thousands of comics for publishers like Marvel, DC, Dark Horse and Image. He lives in suburban New Jersey with his wife and twin boys.