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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CAP) - Seeking to one-up other franchises in Major League Baseball that have branched out of the baseball arena to create new revenue streams and marketing opportunities for their teams, the owners of the Kansas City Royals announced yesterday that it will become the first professional sports team to sponsor a gay guy.
Because the team is no where near the top of its division and obviously can't build its fan base by consistently winning games, sources say that the Royals' owners started looking at proposals last month that would not only bring in new fans, but also generate more - check that, any - buzz about the team.
To that end, the team has reportedly inked trance/hip-hop club DJ and millionaire-socialite J.C. Tavarez, 22, of South Beach, Fla. to a $14 million, two-year deal and $700,000 signing bonus to wear their team colors and logo-emblazoned jewelry whenever he goes out to all the hottest clubs, parties, and spas around the world.
"We looked into other proposals: buying a stake in a NASCAR team, sponsoring a charity walk, sponsoring a fishing tournament - but this is a no-brainer, " said Ted McKinley, assistant to the team's chief operating officer. "Everybody is trying to emulate what young gay men are doing these days, and J.C. is definitely young and definitely gay.
"This guy has got a cell phone that I swear is from the future, he's constantly wearing flip-flops, and he's a magnificent cook," noted McKinley.
Details of the deal have not been officially disclosed, but according to unnamed team officials, in addition to sporting the team's logo and colors every evening when he goes out, Tavarez has agreed to use team-supplied talking points when he's out and about - whether it's at the club or gym, a pride rally, or an off-Broadway show.
The team envisions Tavarez gingerly moving conversations about the hottest new premium denim jeans and the next version of the iPhone to lively discussions about outfielder Jose Guillen's 64 RBI and David DeJesus' .368 on-base percentage.
The Royals claim they are blazing a new trail in sports marketing and business development. Team spokespeople say they hope to one day sponsor other influential people like hotel heiresses, child stars, and pop music groups. But industry analysts are skeptical.
"There's really a lot to be said for thinking inside the box," said Mike Schmidt, CAP's senior baseball analyst and baseball hall of famer. "But this isn't a very good idea. It's so bad, in fact, I'm shocked that the Phillies didn't think of it first."
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