Authenticity in sports games is something that’s loved here at Operation Sports. I imagine that love goes beyond Operation Sports because authentic touches are something universal. They are part of the experience of going to a stadium, playing a sport and having a favorite team. If you make a simulation sports video game, I imagine one of the pillars of that is focusing on authenticity. This is why something small like the MLB The Show 20 stadium advertisements being updated to be more authentic are a small but cool touch.
Of course, this most likely comes down to money in terms of what gets in and does not for real ads. I’m not sure if any recent developments between MLB and Sony have opened up more avenues to get these real ads into the game, or Sony is simply ponying up the cash now to import these authentic touches. Either way, we’re happy to see them. (Alternatively, perhaps advertisers have come to a separate agreement with Sony to pay them to get their ads into the virtual stadiums. However, I don’t know if the process works the same because it seems murky to me. Advertisers are not getting the same benefit here because you don’t see a lot of these items all the time like you would the ads Sony gets paid to place behind the catcher or on outfield walls, which are things gamers see every inning. On top of that, Sony already has non-authentic advertisements taking up space in these stadiums that they presumably got paid to put into the game in some instances, and those spots may conflict with certain authentic advertisements.)
Anyway, we’ve been trying to keep track of all the new authentic advertisements so far while watching the new trailers and livestreams, and the community has done a bang up job of seeking them out as well. So I just wanted to quickly compile all the new advertising changes we know we’ll be getting so far in MLB The Show 20. Of course, this list will grow and change, so we’ll most likely do a new tally at some point. But, for now, consider this our running list.
Seen in the original trailer, we get a look at the massive Delta sign in New York. This was one of the harder ones to spot because we only got to see Gerrit Cole for a split second.
Also seen in the original trailer, we get a look at the classic Citgo sign. It’s been hanging over the Green Monster since 1940, and now we get it in The Show. This is one of the more important ones to me because it’s a fixture at one of the most iconic parks in all of Major League Baseball.
Any time you can get the advertisement on top of the scoreboard it’s a nice get. It’s an even better get when it’s at Wrigley Field.
Truist Park (Atlanta)
The Truist Park signage is the least surprising addition since we generally always get all the stadium names in the game.
The second addition, one we saw in the livestream last week, was the real nice surprise.
Getting Chick-fil-A should impact more than just Atlanta. We know for sure this means we should get the Chick-fil-A signage on the foul poles in Houston now (if Chick-fil-A is continuing their deal with them). There may be other stadiums where this matters as well. For example, Globe Life Park had the same foul pole signage, but now they’ll be at Globe Life Field. Citi Field is another place that had the foul poles previously dressed up in cow.
Oracle Park (San Francisco)
I saved my personal favorite for last. Getting Coca-Cola into the game is great because the signage really does dominate the left-field view when you watch a Giants game. This should also mean we get Coca-Cola signage that is prominently displayed in St. Louis. Coca-Cola is such a big sponsor, which means I am probably leaving out other examples as well. (I’ve been told since the publishing of this article this includes the upper deck in right field at Citi Field and multiple spots at Truist Park, to name two). With that in mind, feel free to mention other stadiums where it might help bring a little added authenticity.
So in center field in Detroit, we now have the Chevrolet Fountain. This is another big get because we’ve always had the fake cars out there before this, and it was always a very noticeable fake advertisement.
In right field, we’re still getting Franzola Cola instead of Pepsi Porch so far. Again, we’ll see if this changes because some of these stadiums may just be behind right now in terms of what assets are being used for these preview trailers and videos. We know we have Chick-fil-A, for example, but have not seen that in all the “proper” places so far in some of the footage. The same goes for Coca-Cola.
Will We Get Alcohol?
This has come up a couple times, so I feel the need to quickly answer this. I would assume we will not get alcohol advertising as it’s generally not been in sports games. I would assume it’s an ESRB issue and thus hurts its chances. But, yes, getting the likes of Budweiser would help add even more to the authenticity.