Major League Baseball signs up for advertising on uniforms

Starting in the 2023 season, the San Diego Padres will sport the Motorola technology company name on the sleeves of their uniforms. His trade agreement is unprecedented in the Major Leagues and the beginning of a new trend.

The NBA already earns more than 200 million dollars annually thanks to these sponsorships, which will also reach the hockey NHL from 2023.

Motorola’s bat symbol will appear on the sleeves of players for the Padres, the first team in the nearly 120-year history of Major League Baseball to sell a space on its uniform to a sponsor, following a deal announced Tuesday.

Dominican third baseman Manny Machado, one of the great leaders of the Padres, was chosen as a model to announce this sponsorship, which can open new commercial horizons for the future of the Major Leagues.
Motorola, a company with headquarters in Chicago and one of the leaders in the production of technological devices, will also display its name in various areas of Petco Park, the home of the Padres.

“Becoming part of the uniform of the San Diego Padres represents a key milestone for the Motorola brand and we are excited to collaborate with the Padres and baseball fans for a deal unlike any other in Major League history,” said Rudi Kalil, Vice President and CEO of Motorola in North America.

And it is that selling advertising space on uniforms was prohibited by the Major Leagues until last August, when a new agreement was approved that does give franchises the right to negotiate contracts with sponsors and display advertising, provided that the MLB board gives the approval.

This change already allows franchises to negotiate commercial agreements, although these must take effect from the 2023 season.


If in Europe football clubs have been selling spaces for their shirts to their sponsors for nearly 50 years, in the United States this barrier collapsed in 2007, with the MLS (First Division of football) as the protagonist.

In a country that is a master at making the most of business opportunities, as is evident, among other things, with the names of the stadiums, there was a tendency to consider franchise uniforms sacred.
The MLS broke this custom fifteen years ago and the NBA did so starting with the 2017-2018 season, when it allowed teams to place a small advertisement on the left side of the chest on their uniforms.

It is estimated that this business generated a profit of 225 million dollars for the NBA and that each franchise signed contracts ranging between seven and twenty million dollars a year, according to specialized US media.

The Los Angeles Lakers, one of the most media franchises in the history of the NBA, signed a five-year agreement with Bibigo, a South Korean company, last fall for an amount of around 100 million dollars, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In the NHL, the American professional hockey league, advertising is allowed on players’ helmets and the Washington Capitals made history in September 2021 by announcing an agreement with a well-known bookmaker to have their name appear on the team’s jersey. team from 2023.

Andrea Montolivo.

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