The report is that this could happen within 3 years, potentially making them the first major American sports league to follow in the NBA's footsteps.
As you know, we have written extensively about the NBA sponsored jersey patches throughout the last two years. A reoccurring theme throughout has been an inquiry on what it could mean for other sports leagues.
It only made sense that sooner rather than later, another major sports league would join the NBA in offering sponsored jersey patches. Well, there are now reports that the MLB is looking into jersey patches for future seasons.
The MLB has utilized sponsored patches or signs on helmets already. Most recently, the London series featuring the Yankees and Red Sox showcased both an ad on the helmets (Mitel) and a patch on the left sleeve (Biofreeze).
NBA jersey patches have shown the MLB that fans do not seem to care if there is an ad on a jersey if it is done correctly. Barring the Dodgers coming out in Disney-covered and themed uniform, Rob Manfred and the MLB know they can make some additional money without taking anything away from the game.
The left sleeve makes the most sense because it would provide the most screen time. Since a solid majority of MLB hitters are right-handed, that left sleeve will be looking right at the camera whenever a righty is up to bat. It wouldn't make sense to put anything on the front of the jersey like the NBA because you don't get to see that part of the uniform nearly as much. Additionally, the left sleeve makes sense because it isn't intruding on the uniforms.
If this does end up happening, it appears teams will be able to choose their sponsor much like how the NBA is doing it. That has to make you wonder which teams will decide to put one on and if so, who they would make a deal with. Below are some of what I would like to see based on location and ties to the market.
Atlanta Braves - Coca Cola (MLB Sponsor)
Detroit Tigers - Chevy
Arizona D'Backs - GoDaddy
Baltimore Orioles - Goodwill
Milwaukee Brewers - Johnsonville Foods
Check out some pictures showing what these patches may look like. What would you like to see? How do you feel about the MLB possibly adding jersey patches? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram @TrakSoftware.
Written by: James Campbell
James Campbell is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan with his B.A. in Sport Management. Throughout his time at Michigan, he has worked with Detroit City FC, MiLife Sport & Social Club, and USA Hockey. - @Jimmy10Campbell