Advertising on players’ shirts has become a booming business. Five years ago, none of the four major sports leagues in the United States (MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL) had sponsors on their shirts. In Major League Baseball, the San Diego Padres picked up momentum and are the first MLB team to be announced as the patch sponsor, signing a multi-year contract with Motorola worth $10 million annually. Hence, the brand will place its logo on the right sleeve and throughout Petco Park.
The big top teams have a free way to add corrections, an opportunity that would not have occurred before. Last March, a new collective bargaining agreement between the MLB and the players’ union gave all 30 teams the right to sell advertising stickers on uniforms and advertising badges on helmets. In revenue, betting can bring baseball clubs $11 million annually.
“The club may license to outside commercial sponsors the right to have its name, logos and/or marks on the kit, provided that the patch or design has been previously approved by the commissioner’s office after consultation with the players union.” , as provided by the LMB.
In the NBA, stains on shirts first appeared in 2017 and grossed nearly $150 million. In the NFL, teams began selling ads on training jerseys in 2009.
Commissioner Adam Silver in early 2010 approved the visual sponsorship concept with an initial three-year term, at a time when the potential financial impact was estimated at $100 million in combined revenue for all 30 teams.
In 2021, the Boardroom outlet cited the combined value of the Jersey patch program for the 2021-22 season at $225 million, more than double the initial estimate.
“We have seen tremendous revenue growth from these assets and the level of brands, both nationally and globally, that are involved with our teams,” said Amy Brooks, NBA’s President of Business Operations and Marketing and Chief Innovation Officer.
After seeing publicist acceptance of tests in both the WNBA and G-League (which updated the entire league’s first letter sponsored with Gatorade), the association finally opened up about the agreement.
For the 2021-22 season, there are currently 28 of the league’s 30 shirt sponsors, and the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards are still looking to secure one after their previous deals with FedEx and Geico expired.
“This is something we have been looking for. We released it five years ago, and of course we discussed things like, How would fans react? Will this collectively increase revenue or break up territories?”
As for the NFL, even within the league there is resistance to this kind of sponsorship.
“It’s great that other leagues do that because they can test it for us. But I can’t imagine (Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks) Matthew Stafford lifting the (Vince) Lombardi Trophy with a third-party flag on his chest,” said Renee Anderson, FA chief revenue officer. American in 2021, “there was no need for that.
Of the four major sports leagues in the United States, only the NFL lack sponsorship deals that include shirt patches, and of course, it’s the highest-earning league in the world.
Jersey sponsorship in the United States still pales in comparison to European football. Manchester United, for example, makes $185 million a year from their jerseys alone. The breakdown was $98 million from Adidas (equipment supplier), $61 million from TeamViewer (shirt sponsor) and $26 million from Kohler (sleeve sponsor).
The NHL began allowing helmet badges two seasons ago, and jersey patches are expected to begin next season.
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