Mastercard, the international credit card giant, has renewed its long-running sponsorship of Major League Baseball in a deal that covers the annual All-Star Game.

Under the multi-year extension announced on Monday, Mastercard will continue to engage with fans at ballparks and across MLB viewing channels.

It was announced ahead of today’s MLB All-Star Game, to be contested by teams representing the American League and National League, at Coors Field in Denver.

Mastercard’s association with the world’s top baseball league dates back to 1997, and the company is stepping up its services for spectators at games by offering enhanced payment technologies, working closely with MLB, point-of-sale providers and concessionaires in stadiums.

The credit card firm will also collaborate with the league to support a contactless and cashless environment through the integration of touchless contactless point-of-sale systems and reverse ATMs, and provide an enhanced e-commerce checkout experience with Click to Pay on MLB digital platforms such as MLB.TV, and

Mastercard deployed its NuDetect fraud detection technology to protect the two-phase fan-voting process for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game ballot.

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The company is renowned for the ‘Priceless’ experiences it offers to cardholders and is integrating the initiative with its long-standing support for the Stand Up To Cancer charity, which is also backed by MLB.

Moreover, in recognition of the negative impact Covid-19 has had on small firms in the past year, Mastercard is launching the Home Team Advantage Small Business Contest, a competition open to firms in Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles offering prizes including $10,000, a Mastercard Digital Doors toolkit, in-stadium assets and a trip to a 2021 World Series game.

Welcoming the renewal, MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden said: “Mastercard has been an incredible partner to Major League Baseball for more than two decades and we take a lot of pride in this great relationship that we’ve forged together.

“The partnership between Mastercard and MLB has truly evolved over the years as technology and our fans’ habits have evolved. Mastercard helped us bring new payment technologies to the forefront for our fans over the years and we are going to continually innovate this space together for the benefit of baseball fans everywhere."

This year’s All-Star Game was originally due to take place in Atlanta only for MLB to relocate it to Denver in response to the introduction of allegedly restrictive election voting laws in the state of Georgia.

Meanwhile, MLB is expanding its available credit by more than $1.9 billion and raising $102 million in secured notes.

The move was revealed in a ratings note from Fitch Ratings

MLB Trust Securitization, the league-wide borrowing facility, is selling the notes in six batches, valued at between $2.3 million and $32.2 million

MLB Trust has also expanded its revolving credit facility to permit up to $2 billion in commitments.

The league presently has $1.2 billion committed in the facility that was due in December 2022, but the expansion of the credit pushes back the pay-off date to July 2026.

Fitch claims that of the 30 MLB teams, 28 participate in the trust facility.

In other developments, MLB has committed up to $150 million over 10 years to the Players Alliance, a non-profit body which supports the development of baseball in African American communities.

The figure comprises a guaranteed $100 million from the league, plus $50 million in matching donations, according to Sportico.

The money will go towards programmes aimed at increasing the participation of young black people in baseball and the number of black employees and contractors in the professional game.

The Players Alliance was established last year and comprises about 150 mostly black former and current players seeking to take the sport to minority communities.

In a statement, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said: "From our perspective, [having] players alongside and involved makes everything we do better and more effective. In terms of the attention it draws to the game and to the issues, it's really important to us. We see this as a supplement to what we're doing already, and a way to amplify what we're doing, not a substitute for it."