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Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Report: Advertising patches coming to MLB uniforms within three years

Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal reports that Major League Baseball is working on adding advertising patches to uniforms, not unlike the uniform patches that have created a windfall for the NBA. Advertising patches on uniforms would require approval from the MLB Players Association, likely when the next collective bargaining agreement is agreed upon. The current CBA is set to expire on December 1, 2021.

MLB executive vice president of business and sales Noah Garden said, “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.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 09:59 AM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: advertising

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   1. salvomania Posted: July 16, 2019 at 10:57 AM (#5862204)
Yuck.

Really? How much money is enough?
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:06 AM (#5862206)
Really? How much money is enough?
All of the money.*


*Maybe.
   3. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:08 AM (#5862208)
Gross. Guess they want to make sure I'll never buy a jersey again.
   4. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:13 AM (#5862214)
Eh. If designed right they shouldn't be much of an eyesore. It's worked out pretty well for the NBA, and their unis have less real estate to work with.
   5. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:29 AM (#5862228)
If designed right they shouldn't be much of an eyesore.


Why should we settle for any sort of eyesore, when the current uniforms aren't an eyesore at all?

It's worked out pretty well for the NBA


Hey, look! A /r/nba thread from last week, with 2,213 upvotes, describing the ads on their uniforms as "absolutely grotesque".
   6. Tin Angel Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:37 AM (#5862232)
I hope they only advertise tobacco and booze.
   7. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:56 AM (#5862242)
I hope they only advertise tobacco and booze.


If they do this, I hope they go full UFC, just to make it a total shitshow. Dude Wipes and CondomDepot.com ads for days.
   8. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:57 AM (#5862243)
I hope they only advertise tobacco and booze.
Daily fantasy sports.
   9. Omineca Greg Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5862245)
Erectile Dysfunction drugs!

If people get confused though, they'll call the doctor if the game lasts four hours.
   10. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 12:18 PM (#5862252)

I hope you'll still be able to buy a replica jersey without the ads.
   11. TJ Posted: July 16, 2019 at 12:53 PM (#5862262)
Move the numbers to the front of the jersey and make them wear those big oval patches like we had to in Little League on the back. Instead of "Jerry's Barber Shop" or "Al's Party Store" like we had, MLB can aim higher- maybe "Bo-Rics" or "Dollar General"...
   12. Master of the Horse Posted: July 16, 2019 at 01:02 PM (#5862266)
   13. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 01:11 PM (#5862271)
They can further attract the youth demographic by shilling for vape supplies.

"There are lots of things to take into consideration,

such as 'How much more can we extort from stupid companies?'
, but I think we will get there."
   14. RoyalFlush Posted: July 16, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5862279)
Hey, look! A /r/nba thread from last week, with 2,213 upvotes, describing the ads on their uniforms as "absolutely grotesque".


ZOMG!!!111!11! 2,000 votes on Reddit? I guess that proves you're right. The NBA is doomed.
   15. Rusty Priske Posted: July 16, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5862288)
They will suck. And be ugly. And awful.

And won't result in any change of viewership, proving that it is just free money for them.
   16. TJ Posted: July 16, 2019 at 01:52 PM (#5862291)
If MLB really wants to max out revenue, eliminate walk-up music and replace it with sponsor ads. "Now batting, #27, Mike Trout- brought to you by Gillette!"
   17. SoSH U at work Posted: July 16, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5862299)
If MLB really wants to max out revenue, eliminate walk-up music and replace it with sponsor ads. "Now batting, #27, Mike Trout- brought to you by Gillette!"


Even better, Now batting, No. 27, Mike Cialis.

   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5862300)
ZOMG!!!111!11! 2,000 votes on Reddit? I guess that proves you're right. The NBA is doomed.


How many upvotes did the post in favor of jersey ads get?
   19. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 02:18 PM (#5862301)
I hope you'll still be able to buy a replica jersey without the ads.


The only way to do it in the NBA is to get the jersey directly at the stadium. All the others have ads on them.
   20. PreservedFish Posted: July 16, 2019 at 02:25 PM (#5862305)
The NBA ones generally aren't awful IMO, and I hope MLB uses them as a model for their own version. But of course the very correct fear is that this will be a slippery slope pointed down towards NASCAR jumpsuits.

We'd have 3 Spiderman bases in every stadium today if it weren't for fan pushback, and I hope we see a similar outcry here.
   21. . Posted: July 16, 2019 at 02:30 PM (#5862307)
If you're a grown man, you should be able to survive not wearing sports team jerseys. Grown men did for many, many, many years.(*) If you're buying the jersey just to have, and you don't like the ad, get a seam tool and take it off.

It's extremely weird that bemoaning Oafball (**) is somehow deemed the province of get-off-my-lawners, but at the same time a two square inch patch on a baseball jersey is civilization's end. The NBA has ad patches on their jerseys and has since 2017 and it's utterly irrelevant. Meaningless.

(*) Exception: Hockey, which has a long and storied jersey wearing history long predating the money-grab jersey era.

(**) Adventures in Oafball: The swingrate at pitches outside the strike zone has risen from 18.1% in 2002 to 31.2% in 2019.
   22. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5862325)
Adventures in Oafball: The swingrate at pitches outside the strike zone has risen from 18.1% in 2002 to 31.2% in 2019.

Out of curiosity, are you getting that from the Times article today? I was trying to find the source of their data -- they cite Fangraphs but when I go to the Fangraphs site, I only see numbers going back to 2007, and they show a change from 29.1% to 30.5% from 2007 to today. There was a peak of 31.2% in 2016 but it has come down since then.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: July 16, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5862335)
That doesn't even make sense as a trend - 'oafball' is about waiting for your pitch, not about swinging at pitches outside the strike zone. Walks would be down dramatically if those numbers were right, and I don't think they are.

I would expect contact to be down across the board, however.
   24. Topher Posted: July 16, 2019 at 03:33 PM (#5862339)
But of course the very correct fear is that this will be a slippery slope pointed down towards NASCAR jumpsuits.


I suppose that's true for where the slippery slope might ultimately lead, but NASCAR seems a step too far, in part because NASCAR sponsors drivers and individual baseball players won't get to make their own deals. But I think it's reasonable to see the batch being the gateway to ending up with a soccer type sponsorship jersey.

Not that a MLB team could replicate the figures, but Manchester United makes over $100M per season by having brand logos on their jerseys ($80M a season for the Chevy logo on the front of the jersey and another $25M by putting a Kohler patch on their sleeve).

The NBA rolled this out successfully both in terms of revenue created and in terms of a collective shrug by fans (other than the occasional reddit post that complains). After the NBA pulled that off, it seems inevitable that the other American leagues will follow their lead. MLB, NFL, and NHL already have the athletic provider logo on arm of the jersey and both the Nike swoosh on the NFL jersey and the Reebok name on the NHL jersey are already large enough that they are about the same size as the NBA sponsor patch. (And the NBA jersey has a big Nike swoosh that might as well be a second sponsor patch.)

I'm obviously not going to like it. But I'm not going to pretend it will stop me from watching. And there are literally billions of dollars to be made from this.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5862345)
Walks would be down dramatically if those numbers were right, and I don't think they are.

Walks actually did decline pretty dramatically, from 3.38 per 9 innings in 2002 to 2.89 in 2014, before rising back up. They are at 3.28 per 9 so far this season so pretty much back to 2002 levels*.

The more consistent and continuing trends are that, as you said, contact rates are down (both on pitches in the zone and outside the zone), Ks are up, HRs are up and BIP are down. And the average game time is obviously longer despite less on-field action, although I'm not sure if that trend has at least been slowed over the past few years as they (sort of) tried to address it.

* EDIT: I'm not sure that 2002 is the golden age we should be aspiring to, FWIW--that was pretty much the height of sillyball. It was just the endpoint in the NY Times article about strikeouts today.

Also worth noting that the difference in walk rate between 2002 and today could simply be attributed to no longer having Barry Bonds in the league.
   26. Spahn Insane Posted: July 16, 2019 at 03:49 PM (#5862348)
This seems a little gross, but if the NPB fans can deal with the teams themselves being named for corporate sponsors, I suppose we can survive ad patches.
   27. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 03:54 PM (#5862350)
This seems a little gross, but if the NPB fans can deal with the teams themselves being named for corporate sponsors, I suppose we can survive ad patches.

Smithfield Ham Dodgers has a certain ring to it, I think.*

*I know Smithfield is based in Virginia, not California.
   28. PreservedFish Posted: July 16, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5862353)
Are they dodging hams, or dodging on behalf of ham?
   29. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 16, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5862366)
The WNBA changed their jersey designs this year because of ads. They took the player number off the front of the uniform to create more ad space on the front of the jersey, leaving only the number on the back. I'm sure that the ad revenue is nice for the teams and league, but it has created a huge problem for the referees and official scorekeepers in terms of identifying who committed fouls or scored baskets without being able to see a player's number.
   30. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 16, 2019 at 05:06 PM (#5862369)
Even better, Now batting, No. 27, Mike Cialis.

In the Season of the Depends Adult Undergarment.
   31. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 05:06 PM (#5862370)
it has created a huge problem for the referees and official scorekeepers in terms of identifying who committed fouls or scored baskets without being able to see a player's number


They just need to sell individual player sponsorships to brands whose names are also numbers: 84 Lumber, 7-11, Dos Equis, etc. Problem solved!
   32. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 06:18 PM (#5862382)
Say what you will about Bud Selig and the entirety of his shameless money-grubbing reign of error, but "ads on uniforms" is one threshold even he wouldn't cross.
   33. Walt Davis Posted: July 16, 2019 at 07:11 PM (#5862393)
I was thinking that, given the way baseball's demographics are going, it can't be long before there's an "Official Funeral Provider of the Chicago Cubs."

I hate all corporate creep of course but I will be tickled when the Marlins take the field sponsored by Al's Texaco Shop-N-Go.

I hope you'll still be able to buy a replica jersey without the ads.

You need to get out of the US more. :-) I'm pretty sure this one of the main reasons they are able to get sponsors. The number of Arsenal, Real Madrid, AC Milan, etc. fans walking around as billboards for Air Emirates is astounding. You're not likely to bump into too many fans of
USA Rugby.
   34. toratoratora Posted: July 16, 2019 at 07:47 PM (#5862395)
Just when I thought I couldn't hate Rob Manfred more...

Crikey, the man is a font of awful ideas.
   35. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 16, 2019 at 08:30 PM (#5862410)
The real beauty of the sponsorship on the jersey's is not the extra annual revenue of say $10 mil per from the sponsor, it's that when you change sponsors yearly, then you get to sell a bucketload more jersey's as fans want the latest and greatest.
If you think the Yankees sell a lot of jersey's each year, check out someone like Liverpool who is changing sponsors regularly and the look of the jersey slightly every year; they sell 10's of thousands of jerseys every year because the fans want the latest jersey.
   36. Zonk, your King of All that Is Real Posted: July 16, 2019 at 08:39 PM (#5862413)
So long as we get to vote on which players wear what patches, I'm cool with this....

Daniel Descalso, brought to you by Letgo! Let it go on Letgo!

Tyler Chatwood, brought to you by Spacex.... Spacex - rockets off the world for everybody.

EDIT: Seriously autocorrect?

   37. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 16, 2019 at 08:41 PM (#5862415)
Can we give Addison Russell a throwback Chico’s Bail Bonds patch?
   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: July 16, 2019 at 11:01 PM (#5862455)
. . . NASCAR seems a step too far, in part because NASCAR sponsors drivers and individual baseball players won't get to make their own deals.
Tattoos.
   39. Bote Man Posted: July 17, 2019 at 08:22 AM (#5862484)
Usinger's Sausage ad patch on the rear of the pants. Get it? Buns for the sausage?? Or maybe it should be on the front of the pants???
   40. Fernigal McGunnigle Posted: July 17, 2019 at 09:28 AM (#5862493)
MLB should mandate parts of a standard uniform that must remain clear (team logo, player name & number, the front of the hat, a spot on the sleeve for a cause-of-the-week patch) then allow players to sell ads on themselves, with MLB taking a very large part of the proceeds. So you can work the scarcity angle and have a single ad on you, you can decide to look classic and have no ads, or if you want you can make yourself look like a walking version of the Million Dollar Homepage. Sure, it'll make every game look like a total #### show, but at least it would allow for some individuality.
   41. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5862539)
You need to get out of the US more. :-) I'm pretty sure this one of the main reasons they are able to get sponsors. The number of Arsenal, Real Madrid, AC Milan, etc. fans walking around as billboards for Air Emirates is astounding. You're not likely to bump into too many fans of USA Rugby.

Yes, I just spent 3 years living in London. What you are describing is exactly why I made my comment.
   42. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:54 AM (#5862541)
MLB should mandate parts of a standard uniform that must remain clear (team logo, player name & number, the front of the hat, a spot on the sleeve for a cause-of-the-week patch) then allow players to sell ads on themselves, with MLB taking a very large part of the proceeds. So you can work the scarcity angle and have a single ad on you, you can decide to look classic and have no ads, or if you want you can make yourself look like a walking version of the Million Dollar Homepage. Sure, it'll make every game look like a total #### show, but at least it would allow for some individuality.
What could possibly go wrong? And the answer is, Trevor Bauer.
   43. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 11:59 AM (#5862543)
Sure, it'll make every game look like a total #### show, but at least it would allow for some individuality.

They can do this on <a >Players Weekend</a>. Now batting, Hunter "Underpants" Pence, brought to you by Fruit of the Loom...
   44. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: July 17, 2019 at 02:46 PM (#5862611)
So long as we get to vote on which players wear what patches, I'm cool with this....


The big question will be which ad the player goes into the hall of fame with. Mookie Betts did spend most of his career sponsored by Crazy Al's Lumber, but his best years were sponsored by Old Spice. We're going to long threads arguing about which one should be on his plaque.
   45. Bote Man Posted: July 17, 2019 at 03:33 PM (#5862637)
What could possibly go wrong? And the answer is, Trevor Bauer.

Chris Sale: Hold my beer.

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