MLB News: After 120 years, there will finally be advertising on Major League jerseys

NOTnothing is more immutable than major league baseball, the guardian of American sports traditions since the 19th century. The stadiums have an old-fashioned brick facade, the uniforms have barely changed in style because Babe Ruth and Bryce Harper look the same, the franchises almost never update their jerseys, the bats are always the same, and the pitch is the same. Yet now baseball has broken a taboo.

From the 2023 season, the San Diego Padres will wear the name of technology company Motorola on the sleeves of their uniforms. Their trade agreement is a first for Major League Baseball and the start of a new chapter. the NBA already earns more than $200 million a year from these sponsorships, which will also come NHL hockey starting in 2023.

The iconic Motorola brand sign, the bat, will appear on the sleeves of Padres players, the first team in the nearly 120-year history of major league baseball to sell part of his uniform to a sponsor, following an agreement announced on Tuesday.

Dominican shortstop Manny Machadoa die padres‘ biggest players, was chosen as the figurehead to announce the endorsement, which could open up new business opportunities for the future of major league baseball.

Motorola, a Chicago-based company and one of the world’s leading makers of tech devices, will also display its name in several areas of Petco Park, home of the Padres.

“To be part of the San Diego Padres represents a key milestone for the Motorola brand, and we are thrilled to partner with fans on a first-ever Major League Baseball contract,” said Motorola CEO Rudi Kalil.

The sale of advertising space on uniforms was prohibited by major league baseball until last August, when a new contract was signed that gives teams the right to negotiate contracts with sponsors and display advertising, as long as MLB management gives the go-ahead.

This change now allows franchises to negotiate marketing agreements, although they must be in place by the 2023 season.

NBA sponsorship is worth between $7 million and $20 million a year

While soccer clubs in Europe had been selling advertising space on their shirts to sponsors for almost 50 years, in the United States that barrier collapsed in 2007, with MLS (Major League Soccer) on the front of the scene.

In a country that has mastered the art of maximizing business opportunities, as evidenced by, among other things, the naming of stadiums, there was a long-standing tendency to regard franchise uniforms as sacred.

MLS broke this custom 15 years ago and the NBA did so beginning in the 2017–18 season, when it allowed teams to place a small advertisement on the left side of the chest on their uniforms.

It is estimated that this agreement generated a profit of $225 million for the NBA and that each franchise signed contracts ranging from seven to twenty million dollars per year.

the Los Angeles Lakersone of the most high-profile franchises in NBA history, signed a five-year contract with South Korean company Bibigo last fall for about $100 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The NHL allows advertising on players’ helmets, and the Washington Capitals made history in September 2021 by announcing an agreement with a well-known gaming company to have his name appear on the team jersey from 2023.

Neal T. Doss