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National Car Rental enters MLB market with hometown Cardinals

US Major League Baseball franchise the St. Louis Cardinals has secured commercial partnerships with Missouri-based car hire company National Car Rental and sports goods retailer Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper said the club has struck a deal for National to become the first-ever official car rental partner of the Cardinals.

The deal will run for five years, from the 2015 season thorough to the end of the 2019 campaign.

National Car Rental will benefit from branding on signage at the team’s Busch Stadium ballpark. The company will also extend special rental rates to Cardinals players, staff and coaches.

National's assistant vice-president of brand marketing Rob Connors said the company is in talks with other teams, adding: “This is our first foray into MLB, and it's with our hometown team.”

Under Academy’s multi-year deal, the terms of which were not disclosed, the company will become a ‘proud partner’ of the team.

Academy will sponsor the t-shirt toss at each Cardinals home game at Busch Stadium and support various club initiatives such as Autograph Nights, Cardinals Kids Clinics, the Cardinals Care 6K Run and the Cardinals Caravan.