Corporate sponsor logos are here, whether you like it or not. The new collective bargaining agreement gave owners approval to put advertising patches on uniforms, an initiative that could generate $250-300 million per year in revenues, according to one estimate.
The MLB patch deals could see some big national players. The amount of impressions and the quality of them will dwarf any other sports. It’s the one time the when players are static — pitchers on the mound, batter in box — is a huge advantage over other sports.— Maury Brown (@BizballMaury) April 19, 2022
MLB joins a wave of other sports leagues that have begun using athletes as a billboard for advertisers. NASCAR has long been known for the ubiquitousness of sponsor logos on driver firesuits, golfers have become walking advertisements for the products they hawk, and soccer kits in various leagues generally have a huge sponsor logo rather than the team logo front and center. But in recent years the NBA and NHL have added a sponsor logo to uniforms, and even NFL teams have added sponsor logos to practice uniforms.
The San Diego Padres have become the first team to announce a corporate sponsor, teaming up with Motorola for the 2023 season.
MLB's first jersey sponsor:— Front Office Sports (@FOS) April 19, 2022
The San Diego Padres and Motorola pic.twitter.com/VXpt486Pa6
MLB patches will be 4-by-4, can be on the right or left sleeve, and must remain consistent all season.
Comparison of size limits for NBA, NHL, and MLB jersey advertising patches. pic.twitter.com/zpbyPtv1j2— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) March 24, 2022
Personally, I know I’m in a small minority on this, but I don’t mind advertising in sports. Corporate ads have been a part of the game for a century. The first major baseball stadium in the city was originally named Muehlebach Field, after Kansas City Blues owner George Muehlebach, who also happened to have a beer and a hotel of the same name. Kansas City A’s fans remember the large Schlitz beer sign out in right field as much as they remember any players. Royals fans grew up reciting radio jingles of all the team’s sponsors - “O’Reilly for your auto parts”, “don’t forget the Guy’s”, or even Denny Matthews’ dry reading of “the Parking Spot - easy to spot, easy to park.”
The sponsor logos are coming, so is there a preference for which company will be adorned on Royals jerseys? Should it be a local company - H&R Block, Cerner, or Garmin? Here are a few ideas.
The Chiefs teamed up with GEHA (the Government Employees Health Association - did you even know that?) for the naming rights for Arrowhead Stadium, sorry GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, and the fans loved it. At every Chiefs tailgate you can find fans talking about GEHA and the wonderful medical and dental plans they provide to federal employees and retirees. It’s gotten to the point where people forget it was ever called “Arrowhead Stadium.”
Guy’s Potato Chips
Don’t forget the Guy’s! The brand is already pretty well associated with the Royals, is a local company, and is quite delicious. They’ve also joined social media and have funny sports takes!
That’s right, Royals Commercial of Maryland, a leading installer of air-vapor barriers. No they’re not local, yes an air-vapor barrier installer isn’t the sexiest company in the world, but you could fit “Royals Commercial” on the uniform and it would fit in with the team name!
Tompkins Hydraulic Adapters
How do you feel about corporate advertising logs on uniforms? Is there a company you’d prefer to see on Royals jerseys?