Match.com: Red Sox romance could be on your dance card

Graphic courtesy of Match.com.
Graphic courtesy of Match.com.

A 2009 ad about “Bruin Hockey Rules” once rebuked a fan who became enamored with a sightly ingenue who rooted for Boston’s arch on-ice enemy, the dastardly Montreal Canadiens.

“Never date within the division,” advised the ad, which showed the lovestruck fan getting roughed up by the Bruins mascot. (See video below.)

Thanks to a new partnership between MLB.com and the dating site Match.com, a Boston Red Sox fan may be able to steer clear of such a love-life foul-ups.

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Since last month, fans who are Match.com subscribers can now narrow their searches to home in on other subscribers who also identify themselves as Red Sox fans, the company said.

And if by chance a fan’s Match.com browsing turns up a potential paramour who self-identifies as a Yankee supporter, they can give that person a good leaving-alone --- or they can “reach out and give them a hard time,” said Match.com spokesperson Amy Canaday, who added that this is the first time the dating site has partnered with a sports league.

For the Match.com subscriber, the partnership means that baseball fans can include a team logo in their Match.com profiles. The partnership also means that the dating site’s search tool has been refined to enable Match.com subscribers to seek out other subscribers who identify with the same team.

Showcasing a team logo “in your profile is a pretty cool thing,” said Matthew Gould, a vice president at Major League Baseball Advanced Media, which is also known as MLB.com.

And he added, “Going to a game is a great first date.”

MLB.com, a technology firm collectively owned by the 30 Major League Baseball teams, is promoting the partnership on team websites, including sites for Red Sox and the Yankees.

Recent visitors to boston.redsox.mlb.com, for example, might encounter promotional material that says: “SINGLES powered by Match.com. A match made in heaven. Baseball + Dating.”

On newyork.yankees.mlb.com, meanwhile, visitors might see this: “What better way to meet your soul mate than by connecting with other single baseball fans? Sign up with MLB Singles powered by Match.com to find out how. Existing members can also take part in the fun.”

Match.com, which says that a quarter of its members identify as baseball fans, isn’t the first to note the amorous qualities of the National Pastime.

In 2007 and 2008, New England Sports Network, or NESN, signed on with the producers of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” to develop “Sox Appeal.” The show followed a Red Sox fan on a series of three, two-inning blind dates. In the 7th inning, the fan had to decide which date he or she wanted to watch the rest of the game with.

The Sox do certainly seem to have romantic appeal.

To date, Boston ranks second among Match.com subscribers who have identified themselves as a fan of a specific baseball team, Canaday said.

As for number one? You don’t want to know. (Hint: This team plays its home games in the Bronx.)

This ad, created for the Bruins by Boston ad agency Mullen, shows how love and sports can sometimes go terribly wrong.