The new Skittles tarp on display at Nationals Park. (Scott Allen/The Washington Post)

Rain delays at Nationals Park just got a lot more colorful, thanks to the recent arrival of a Skittles-branded “Taste the Rainbow” tarp. The Nationals showed off the slip-n-slide of Marshawn Lynch’s dreams Thursday, and while it’s more interesting to look at than the plain white tarp the team’s grounds crew used before, the aesthetically pleasing upgrade is a sponsorship activation fans probably hope remains in the bag.

The rainbow-colored covering is part of the multiyear sponsorship deal the Nationals signed with McLean-based candy maker Mars, Inc., as first reported by Sports Business Journal. M&M’s signage went up on the left field wall and one of the garages adjacent to Center Field Plaza shortly after the deal was announced in June, and a Skittles-branded cover for the tarp appeared along the third-base line in early July.

The tarp reads, “If raindrops were Skittles, this wouldn’t be that bad,” which is probably true. At the conclusion of every home rain delay, Screech will pass out packs of Skittles to fans in one random section of the park.


Peanut and regular M&M’s have a good view of the action from the left field wall at Nationals Park. (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Nationals are the latest in a small group of teams who have entered the creative tarp sponsorship game, which has been dominated by the Cubs. In 2015, the World Series champs struck a deal with the Illinois-based Reynolds Consumer Products. Now, when it rains at Wrigley Field, it looks as if the infield is covered by Reynolds Wrap aluminum foil.

Skittles taste better.


(Scott Allen/The Washington Post)

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