For more than 120 years the baseball American maintained an unbreakable rule: keep their uniforms free of advertising. But times change and that tradition will fall by the wayside as franchises search for new sources of income.
The first to make (commercial) history in the Big leagues it will be San Diego Padres -Californian team of the Major League Baseball (MLB)-, which from the 2023 season will wear a patch with Motorola phone brand on the right sleeve of his coat. The space reserved for advertising will be 4×4 inches (10×10 centimeters).
In turn, the multi-year agreement also establishes the company as the official supplier of the franchise, and will allow it to place its brand in various areas of Petco Park, the home of the Padres. In exchange, the team will earn US$10 million per season.
This alliance marks a milestone in the US baseball league. Historically, the sale of advertising space on its clothing was prohibited until an amendment to the regulations was approved in August last year that allows franchises to negotiate contracts with sponsors and wear advertisements, as long as they are approved by the MLB. The agreements can be negotiated this year, but will come into force from 2023.
In exchange for Motorola’s sponsorship, the San Diego Padres will enter US $ 10 million per season
Following the rule change, the teams begin to move in search of business partners. Los Angeles Dodgers He has just hired the sports marketing agency Sportfive to find a sponsor for his uniform.
Despite the economic tailwinds caused by the coronavirus, the MLB managed to bill US $ 1,100 million for sponsorship in 2021, 5% more than a year before. Thus, she placed third on the podium of professional sports in the US, behind the NFL (US$ 1,800 million) and the NBA (US$ 1,460 million), reported the Sportico site based on a report by the IEG consultancy.
The projected numbers anticipate more revenue for professional baseball. The teams will earn more money by sponsoring their uniforms and also that of the players’ helmets, another commercial novelty for the coming season.
change of time
The adoption of this strategy marks an epochal change for the major US leagues commercially.
The NBA enabled the inclusion of advertising in its clothing as of 2017. Currently, the league brings in $225 million a year from patches that measure 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches.
Each franchise has endorsement deals ranging from $7 million to $20 million per season.
Following the trend, in National Hockey League (NHL) the advertising patches will debut on the uniforms also from 2023. The helmets that the players wear to protect their heads already function as a showcase for the brands.
Los Washington Capitals made history in September 2021 by announcing a deal with Caesars Entertainment Inc to stamp their logo on apparel. Being dedicated to gambling, the sponsor is only allowed to appear at home games. The Caps will take home $6 million per season.
Uniform sponsorship may annoy traditional fans, but it’s certainly worth it, say those who carry the numbers in sports franchises.