San Diego Padres partners with Motorola for first MLB jersey patch deal

  • MLB allows jersey crest sponsorships starting in 2023
  • Motorola Becomes Padres Hall of Fame Presenting Partner, Secures Petco Park Inventory

The San Diego Padres have unveiled consumer electronics and telecommunications company Motorola as their official jersey patch partner, becoming the first Major League Baseball (MLB) team to enter into such a deal.

The multi-year deal sees Chicago-based Motorola also serve as the Padres’ hall of fame presenting partner, including interactive technology displays and product integration throughout the exhibit. Additionally, the company will get branded inventory in left field and various locations throughout Petco Park.

The deal, reported by SportBusiness to be worth US$10 million a year, also sees Motorola named the official franchise partner for smartphones.

It was first reported in June 2020 that MLB and its Players Union were close to agreeing to allow teams to sell sponsorship patches on team jerseys. Initially, this was to come into effect for the 2020 and 2021 seasons – covering the final year of the league’s pre-existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The latest CBA, signed in March, gave the go-ahead for 2023 campaign shirt patch deals.

A 2019 Nielsen report said MLB teams could earn more from jersey patch deals than National Basketball Association (NBA) franchises. The industry analyst estimated that such deals could generate US$11 million in brand value per MLB team each season.

In addition to next year’s jersey patches, MLB could introduce helmet deals in time for the 2022 playoffs.

For Motorola, the Padres deal adds to a portfolio of partnerships that includes the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers, as well as Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Chicago Fire.

“Motorola and the Padres share a commitment and passion for creating meaningful customer experiences,” said Rudi Kalil, vice president and general manager, North America, Motorola.

“Being woven into the San Diego Padres jersey is an exciting and pivotal time for the Motorola brand and our innovative product line, and we are thrilled to connect with Padres and baseball fans around the world through this unique MLB partnership in his genre. “

Erik Greupner, General Manager of the San Diego Padres, added, “We are thrilled to partner with a quintessential and innovative brand like Motorola to bring cutting-edge technology, design and performance to Petco Park.

“Motorola’s iconic logo on our jersey is a perfect alignment with our Padres brand, and we look forward to teaming up to deliver a great experience for our fans.”

Elsewhere in MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers have partnered with agency Sportfive to help secure global franchise partnerships.

Sportfive will be looking to fill various Dodgers sponsorship positions, including the jersey crest and on-field presenting partner at Dodgers Stadium.

The agency will leverage its market knowledge, reach and global sales network to identify and secure ideal partners for the team’s partnership positions, whether nationally or internationally.

Neal T. Doss