MLB moving forward with plans for uniform ads in 2023

Los Angeles – Major League Baseball is moving forward with uniform advertising plans next season.

The new employment contract agreed in March allows teams to add publicity patches on uniforms and helmets. The San Diego Padres in April became the first team to announce a 2023 deal with Motorola.

“I think jersey patch ads on jerseys are a fact of life in professional sports,” commissioner Rob Manfred told the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Tuesday. “It’s a big enough source of revenue that it’s really impossible for the sport to ignore it in the long term. I think that’s the truth.

Major League Soccer became the first major North American league to allow jersey advertisements in 2007.

Among other North American leagues, the NBA began selling sponsorship logos for the 2017-18 season. The NHL launched helmet ads for the 2020-21 season and began advertising on jerseys last season.

Manfred defended experiments with new uniform looks, such as players not wearing their regular-season jerseys at the All-Star Game last year.

Following a markedly new look in 2021 that included three-letter abbreviations of team names, this year’s game uniforms feature the script of regular-season jerseys, with gold lettering on a white background for the National League and a gray background for the American.

Nike took over as MLB’s uniform supplier in 2020 and last year added a series of City Connect uniforms that were markedly different, such as the Boston Red Sox wearing yellow and blue.

“A lot of kind unease, apprehension among certainly the more traditional people in the game. City Connect has been one of the game’s big marketing hits in recent years,” Manfred said.

“I think it’s important to experiment with things like that in order to make the game look a bit different. I never would have thought that a baseball team wearing different jerseys in a game was a particularly appealing look for us. I understand that people may have different views on this topic, but it’s part of a larger program designed to market the game in a non-traditional way,” he said.

Neal T. Doss