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Saturday, June 22, 2024

MLB Jersey Patches ‘Inevitable’

Jul 16, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber (12) rounds the bases after hitting a walk off solo home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the tenth inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
Photo Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

*This piece first appeared in the Front Office Sports Newsletter. Subscribe today and get the news before anyone else.

Get ready for MLB jerseys to have sponsor patches.

According to SBJ’s Terry Lefton, MLB executives say that the move is “inevitable” and that they “will get there” eventually. 

It’s nothing new for the league…

The league has had patches on uniforms during international events in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and most recently in the 2019 Japan and London events. 

According to MLB International Senior Vice President Jim Small, the practice was started abroad because most international sports leagues allow uniform advertising, and branding on uniforms is more widely accepted. 

“In Japan, the teams are all named for corporations, the names written across each player’s chest. So the idea of putting a small patch on our team’s uniforms was simply not a big deal.”

What’s next? 

In order for the league to reap the benefits of something like a jersey patch, there are still a few hurdles to clear.

– Size, placement, value

– Split of revenue with players (Which would have to be agreed to after current CBA is up in 2021)

– Types of companies allowed to advertise

Sound off… 

“We’re examining the patch, but clearly we have things to work through first. I’d say it’s inevitable down the road, but certainly not immediate. This is something that requires a fairly long runway. There are lots of things to take into consideration, but I think we will get there.” – Noah Garden, MLB executive vice president of business and sales, to Lefton about the opportunity.

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