Baseball may be just another professional sport selling itself large while struggling to control performance enhancements and player behavior, but it's still the quintessential American sport -- almost everyone's got a baseball history: I began listening to Mets a on the radio and the Yankees on a little black and white television with my grandfather (he was a multimedia guy before they even had a word for it!) to collecting baseball cards all through the 1970s, to hanging out in the bleachers at Fenway Park in the mid 80s.
Since baseball is a multimedia extravaganza, digital signage is integral to any game (as some folks have pointed out, the best place to watch a game on TV is in the park itself!). With the two new stadiums opening in New York comes the not-surprising announcement that Sharp Electronics, the official HDTV of Major League Baseball, has signed a multimedia deal with the Mets. High definition screens will fill the public areas, lobbies, and of course, the field.
The interesting and surprising element is the nice tie-in between Sharp and the Mets to community outreach: part of the deal is support for program called the Student Athlete Leadership Training program (SALT) which trains local high school athletes to be peer educators about drug and alcohol abuse prevention. Of course, the kids who participate also get the pleasure of attending a game in the new stadium. While addressing the problem of drug use among professional athletes requires more systemic action, both within baseball and in the institutions that support it, this program offers a solid mix of media, technology, sports, education, and outreach that reaches kids early. The point is that there's no obvious reason why Sharp would want to attach their name to the program, but it's a great example of how digital signage and community relations can be tied together.