The sleeves of Major League Baseball players’ uniforms will feature company-sponsored patches starting next season, and decals on batting helmets could arrive as soon as this postseason, a source said Friday. MLB.
It will be up to each club to find (or not) a logo to put on the sleeves of its players, and it seems certain that the Red Sox will do so.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to explore sponsorship partners in this space, but setting a timeline at this early stage would be premature,” said Zineb Curran, senior vice president and chief communications officer for the Reds. Sox, in a text.
The fixes, agreed as part of the new collective agreement drawn up last month, represent a new source of revenue for the teams. Players agreed to wear them in part because they believed teams would spend some of the profits on player salaries.
William Barbera, president of Van Wagner Sports, a marketing and media sales company that has provided analysis to several MLB teams, estimates the initiative could generate revenue of $250 million to $300 million a year. That’s an average of $8-10 million per team, with Barbera adding that big-market or particularly popular ball clubs have the potential to rake in at least double that amount.
Sports business network Boardroom estimates that NBA uniform ads, which were first worn in the 2017-18 season, brought in around $250 million this year. The NHL allowed helmet ads in the 2020-21 season and will launch a uniform patch program in 2022-23.
For at least the first year, the baseball jersey patch will measure 4 inches by 4 inches worn on one sleeve, with MLB and the Players Association reviewing design options.
Each club is limited to one corporate partner, with the crest design being the same for every uniform in every game.
If fans want to buy a shirt with the company crest on the sleeve, they can only do so at a club store located in the stadium. Replica jerseys sold elsewhere will not include the patch.
Sponsors for alcohol, betting and media brands will not be considered for patches.
The helmet sticker is an asset controlled by MLB, which it could decide to activate as soon as the expanded playoffs in October – another new feature from the CBA.
“Baseball has twice as many games as the NBA and NHL, way more than the NFL, so it has more opportunities to capture the logo on TV,” Barbera said.
“Also, baseball is more of a static game, unlike hockey, soccer, or basketball where you move around the field. There’s a lot more zoom on players and coaches and in the dugout, so the game is setting up really well for that medium and for brands to really capture a lot more value for their spend.