Cardinals could select uniform advertising sponsor

Professional football teams have placed advertisements on their jerseys since the 1970s, but most North American leagues have avoided using their uniforms for advertising purposes.

ST. LOUIS — Among the many changes to Major League Baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement is a new sponsorship opportunity that is expected to generate millions in annual revenue for local teams.

The deal, signed last month, allows each MLB team to sell sponsors the ability to put their logo on a 4×4-inch patch that would appear on the sleeve of players’ jerseys in the field, from of the 2023 season. In an interview this week, St. Louis Cardinals president Bill DeWitt said the organization is already considering what kind of deal it wants to make for its jersey patch.

“We really want to be there to understand what kind of partnerships are available,” DeWitt said.

With the addition of its jersey sponsorship, MLB becomes the latest sport to add sponsorship to the gear worn by players. Professional soccer teams around the world have placed advertisements on their jerseys since the 1970s, but most of North America’s biggest team leagues had avoided using their uniforms as an advertising platform until these last years. Outside of manufacturer brands, the NBA was sponsorless until the 2017–18 season, when teams were allowed to sell small jersey patches. National Hockey League teams, including the St. Louis Blues, added sponsor decals to their helmets during the 2020-21 season. MLB also plans to add helmet sponsorship, but that deal will be handled by the league rather than individual teams, according to Sports Business Journal.

With shirt patches only being added in the 2023 season, DeWitt said there was no rush to secure a deal for this sponsorship. However, he said the team wanted to start exploring their options. He said he has already thought about the type and length of partnership the cardinals would like to enter into with a corporation.

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