Starting next season Nike will replace Majestic as MLB's official jersey manufacturer. The deal was officially announced this past January -- Under Armour had a deal in place before Nike, but had to back out -- and runs from 2020-29.
As part of the new agreement, the iconic Nike swoosh will now be front and center on MLB jerseys, and we got out first look at it on Friday. The Cincinnati Reds announced their new alternate jersey is on sale at the team store and the Nike swoosh is featured prominently:
The Majestic logo appeared on the left sleeve of player jerseys previously. The Yankees managed to get an exemption -- they successfully argued their jerseys are too iconic for a manufacturer's logo -- but no such luck this time. All 30 clubs will have the Nike swoosh on the chest of their jerseys beginning in 2020.
Frankly, it's hard to believe it took so long for MLB to begin placing advertisements -- that's essentially what this is, advertising -- on their jerseys. MLB finds a way to monetize everything and putting ads on jerseys is a logical step. A few years ago the New Era logo appeared on the left side of player caps. Now the Nike swoosh is on jersey fronts.
Baseball fans will undoubtedly be irate over the new Nike swoosh. Had it simply replaced the Majestic logo on the sleeve, I don't think anyone would care. But, because it is so prominent and potentially clashes with the team logo -- doesn't it look like an accent over the R in Reds? -- I suspect most fans will hate it. Eventually, we'll get used to it. We don't have a choice.