Who can forget the thrill of watching Chicago Cubs utility man Ben Zobrist receive a brand new limited-edition Chevrolet Camaro convertible as one of the rewards for being named World Series MVP? The image of a smiling Zobrist standing in front of the car, with his right hand placed firmly on its hood, will linger in our memories for millennia to come. So much synergy!
Chevrolet is one of 23 official MLB sponsors, and while a car goes vroom vroom, baseball might consider presenting other products to future MVP winners. Whether it's baking soda from Arm & Hammer, water from Aquafina, or water from Budweiser, the opportunities are sure to delight and excite.
Did you know you can use baking soda as toothpaste, a facial scrub and body exfoliant, an antacid, a battery cleaner, a cat-box deodorizer, and so much more? In a way, baking soda is every household's most valuable player.
Then again, humans can't live without water. That makes it pretty darned valuable. Aquafina would be a welcome addition to an MVP's home. Or maybe Budweiser, though their water has a funny taste to it that some might not like. Also, it's illegal to serve the stuff to children.
On the bright side, Budweiser has other assets that the whole family can enjoy. We're speaking of horses, of course. Why not give the winner a few Clydesdales? They would probably be cheaper than the Camaro and equally effective in picking up women (or men). Plus they'd make for a great conversation starter:
“Whoa, nice Clydesdales. Where'd you get 'em?”
“Funny you should ask. I won the World Series MVP.”
“Right on, got any beer?”
You can imagine where it might go from there.
But what about other possibilities? For example, New Relic could award next year's winner free use of its extensive software analytics tools. While it might be easier to pick up women (or men) in a Camaro than in a state-of-the-art cloud-based solution, what self-respecting ballplayer wouldn't love to lay his hands on those tools?
Or in keeping with the automotive theme, Falken Tire could bestow upon the MVP a hundred sets of its presumably fantastic ZIEX ZE950 A/S. After all, you can't drive a car without tires.
There are snack chips from FritoLay, energy drinks from Gatorade, razors from Gillette. All would be worthy prizes for one so deserving, but can't we do better?
A lifetime supply of shampoo from Head & Shoulders would be welcomed by all but the baldest of MVPs. How about versatile stain remover from OxiClean or fine lawn-care products from Scotts? Everyone needs things cleaned or covered with grass.
Shortage of cardboard in your home? No problem, Papa John's has that covered. Need a corrosive for your stomach? Have some Pepsi.
Then there's the ace in the proverbial hole: Viagra. It may come as a surprise, given how ubiquitous the television ads have become, that the popular erectile dysfunction drug isn't an official sponsor of MLB. This potentially makes any arrangement between the two entities somewhat problematic, but isn't Viagra all about overcoming obstacles?
The marketing copy practically writes itself:
Congratulations, John Thomas, on rising to the occasion in the heat of the moment. And now to ensure that you continue rising to the occasion in the heat of other moments, we're proud to present you with a lifetime's supply of Viagra, the only performance-enhancing drug that won't get you suspended from baseball.*
It literally takes the ED out of PED. Brilliant!
Ah, who are we kidding. The car prize is probably here to stay. But just imagine a world where the World Series MVP wins a lifetime supply of baking soda. Wouldn't that be fresh?
* If you have a game that lasts more than four hours, seek medical help right away.
Geoff Young is Crooked Scoreboard’s baseball editor and is tired of reaping no reward for his product placements. You should follow him on Twitter.