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Atlanta's baseball stadium, empty, just like it will be during the All-Star Game. Photo: Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

A conservative group is targeting Major League Baseball and Ticketmaster with a seven-figure advertising campaign ahead of next week’s All-Star Game, accusing them of practicing “woke capitalism.”

Why it matters: By taking direct aim at MLB — and other private entities — Consumers' Research is putting corporate America on notice that it will try to talk directly to their customers with the express goal of hurting their bottom line.

  • “Commissioner Rob Manfred moved the All-Star game from Atlanta, parroting dishonest, partisan talking points,” the narrator intones in the MLB ad. “Why is he making baseball political anyway? Because of his terrible record.”
  • MLB declined to comment.

The big picture: In April, Manfred announced that the 2021 All-Star Game would be moved out of Atlanta due to Georgia's law curbing voting access, a move the President Joe Biden said he would support.

  • The decision to move the game to Denver was heavily criticized by Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
  • A Texas-based conservative organization, the Job Creator Network, tried to sue MLB, but the suit was dismissed by a federal judge, who called the lawsuit “weak and muddled.”
  • Critics of the Georgia law claim it was intended to target heavily Democratic jurisdictions and will hurt Black and Latino voters the most.

Go deeper: Conservative groups have been trying to “name and shame” organizations for their perceived partisan positions, often attempting to influence the C-Suite by buying ads on CNBC, the network many executives watch

  • In May, Consumers' Research launched a similar seven-figure campaign against Coca-Cola, American Airlines and Nike.
  • The new ads against MLB and Ticketmaster are scheduled for cable and local TV where the companies are headquartered, as well as in Atlanta, where the decision to move the game to Denver was criticized by local business leaders.

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Sep 13, 2021 - Energy & Environment

Ad wars intensify as Democrats' green energy plans take shape

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Environmentalists and industry groups are launching fresh media buys as congressional Democrats craft plans to expand green energy incentives and spending while imposing new or higher fees on oil companies.

Driving the news: The League of Conservation and Climate Power has begun $6 million in new TV and digital ad spending that try to bolster four Senate Democrats and around 20 House members.

Federal Reserve scales back expectations for economic recovery as Delta variant weighs

Fed chair Jerome Powell during a congressional hearing last year. (Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The Fed downgraded near-term expectations for the economy and the labor market, alongside hotter-than-expected inflation, in new estimates out on Wednesday.

Why it matters: It's the first time those closely-watched estimates reflect impact from the delta variant that's already rattled the labor market. Still, Fed chairman Jerome Powell said enough progress has been made to begin to pull back emergency-era measures that have supported the economy.

Bipartisan police reform negotiations end without deal

Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) with Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in the Capitol in May 2021. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Bipartisan talks on reforming police tactics and accountability, prompted by George Floyd's murder in May 2020, have ended without a compromise, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), a key negotiator, said Wednesday.

Why it matters: Lawmakers, led by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) and Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Booker, had been working toward a bipartisan deal for months but things fell apart due to disagreements on qualified immunity and other issues.