It won't be long before advertising patches make their way to MLB uniforms. According to Terry Lefton of Sports Business Daily, there is "considerable interest" in advertising patches throughout MLB after the NBA has had success selling patches the last few years and that patches should be expected at the highest level of baseball within three years.
Here's more from Lefton:
"We're examining the patch, but clearly we have things to work through first," said Noah Garden, MLB executive vice president of business and sales. "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."
The math is intriguing, as there are 82 games in an NBA regular season compared to MLB's 162-game schedule. Baseball also has far more static TV shots than the NBA, which should allow more "exposure opportunities." Still, Kyle Folts, Van Wagner Sports & Entertainment's vice president of insights, said it would be a fallacy to conclude that MLB ad patches should be worth twice as much as NBA uniform advertising. VWS&E has been assessing the potential market for a year after several MLB teams inquired.
Advertising patches would need the MLBPA's approval and the current collective bargaining agreement does not expire until December 2021. That means the earliest we'll see advertising patches in the big leagues is the 2022 season. NBA teams average roughly $7 million per year through advertising patches.
Among the issues that must be resolved is patch size and placement, though Lefton notes a patch similar in size to the NBA patch (2 1/2 inch x 2 1/2 inch) on the chest would be the optimal placement. Right now MLB jerseys feature a Majestic logo on the sleeve, which is the only advertising on uniforms. Player helmets featured product logos during international games in Tokyo, London and Monterrey this year.
Advertising logos on MLB uniforms are an inevitably. They are a potentially lucrative revenue stream and teams (and MLBPA) won't ignore them forever. Much like the New Era logo on the side of the caps, this is one of those things you'll notice right away at first, then forget about completely before long.