No Endorsements For Little Leaguers Despite Series Win

They may not be Tony Gwynn or Albert Pujols yet, but the new Little League World Champions from Chula Vista have gotten to be pretty recognizable names around San Diego County. But unlike other big-time sports stars, they will not be able to capitalize on their newfound fame, as Little League has strict rules about what the player can and cannot do.

"They're not allowed to accept any money," said Chris Downs of Little League International. "No financial endorsements and nothing in terms of a sponsorship agreement."

So don't expect Bulla Graft or Luke Ramirez shilling products any time soon, and San Diego State University Marketing Professor George Belch thinks that's good.

"Their innocence, their pure affection for the game, is a great marketing tool," said Belch. "But it's probably not appropriate to use them as commercial spokespeople."

Little League says players cannot appear in the following:

  • TV, except in news programs
  • Videos, except home videos that are not for sale
  • Movies, without the consent of Little League

    Little League says players also cannot accept gifts of any value. The organization said that is to maintain their amateur status.

    Belch thinks it might be appropriate for the new stars to appear in public service announcement, and that's possible, according to Little League rules.

    "Only if they are cleared by the league and in collaboration with Little League International to make sure it's appropriate in nature," said Downs.

    So no commercial endorsements for now, young men. Just enjoy what you've accomplished.