By Jim Masters
Many of the biggest advertisers in the world connect their brand with a major professional sports franchise. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t suitable marketing opportunities for small- or medium-sized businesses to market inside the sports entertainment industry. However, many of these organizations may prefer a geographically approximate location to reach their customer base.
For the Northwest Indiana region, the inaugural season of the Lake County Corn Dogs baseball franchise offers exciting, new branding opportunities. And the Corn Dogs have been scoring early and often, achieving 20 partnership commitments as of May 2022. University of Chicago Medicine is one of the newest additions to the Corn Dogs roster of partnerships.
In-stadium branding, social media amplification, radio and streaming TV broadcasts, digital and print media presence, corporate hospitality events… the Corn Dogs’ partnership opportunities cover all the bases. You can even have your company logo on the uniforms!
The enthusiastic, early support for the team can only spell success for the Corn Dogs’ inaugural season — and its mission of providing a fun and inexpensive form of family entertainment.
The Corn Dogs come to Crown Point
The Corn Dogs are the newest team in the Northern League, a pre-professional developmental league consisting primarily of collegiate players who are keeping their skills sharp over the 55-game summer season as they showcase their talent to Major League Baseball scouts.
The Corn Dogs play at Legacy Fields in Crown Point, Indiana, with road games played close by in other Northwest Indiana cities and in South Chicago.
Corn Dogs Majority Owner Ralph Flores chartered the franchise with the vision of “building community through baseball.”
“It’s important that we give back in whatever way we can to the community and show our appreciation for their support, but this would not be possible without our partnerships,” Flores says. “They are key to our ability to launch this new venture and bring people a baseball experience that they will surely enjoy. In a real sense, the Corn Dogs and its partners are all part of the same team — who we want to see us win on and off the field.”
Joining the team
Kusiak Construction, based in Hammond, Indiana, is one of the first businesses to team up with the Corn Dogs. Owner Dave Kusiak says he shares Flores’ ethos of baseball as an instrument to improve the local community. While Kusiak sees a partnership with the Corn Dogs as a prime branding opportunity for his family-owned business, he’s also looking forward to attending the games as he catches up with friends and makes new acquaintances.
“I’m going to be bringing people from Kusiak Construction to the games to spend some quality time outside of work together,” he says. “I want to support a fellow independent businessman like Ralph, as well as the future of these athletes.”
Essential to putting bringing that talent to the Corn Dogs’ roster is Bobby Morris, who serves as the team’s Director of Player Acquisition & Development. In addition to being a member of the Corn Dogs organization, and someone who really knows the baseball talent across the Midwest, he’s the owner of Great Lakes Sports Hub and a valued business partner.
“It’s my personal mission to help young men develop,” Morris says. “The Corn Dogs will be great for inspiring ball players from our area. They will have athletes who they can look up to and aspire to be. So, partnering with the Corn Dogs checks a lot of boxes for me.”
George Paic, owner of Back Court Bar & Grill in Crown Point, who is raising three of those young men, plans to bring to Corn Dogs games this summer. And if spectators learn about his business and want to come back to the bar after a game, all the better.
“I think bringing the Corn Dogs to Crown Point is one of the best things the city has done in the past 20 years,” Paic says. “It’s different and unique that we’re going to have this team here in Lake County. I think we’re going to see some really good baseball too.”
While Flores is not necessarily predicting a league championship, he knows the ball club will only be as strong as the support around it. Fortunately, he has the advantage of former Kansas City Royals pitcher Justin Huisman managing the team.
Offering a variety of sponsorship packages, the Lake County Corn Dogs brand can elevate yours. To see how you can join the team, contact: