MLB teams may be permitted to sell ads on jerseys in 2020

Tim Kelly
June 18, 2020 - 9:17 am

If there is a 2020 MLB season, uniforms could look entirely different than they ever have.

All 30 MLB teams will now have the Nike Swoosh on the top, right side of their jerseys. Additionally, Ken Davidoff and Joel Sherman of The New York Post say that something else could be coming to jerseys in 2020 - advertisements.

The duo say that this is one of the trade offs that MLB would like in exchange for allowing a universal DH and eliminating nearly 20 percent of the debt that the MLBPA owes MLB from a March advance. Like the universal DH, jersey ads would only be implemented on a temporary basis, under the idea of trying to recoup some of the financial losses due to COVID-19. However, while universal DH and jersey ads would only be agreed to for two seasons, one would imagine that once you open those doors, you aren't going to close them again as part of the new collective bargaining agreement that will have to be in place before the 2022 season.

Of course, no deal has been finalized. RADIO.COM MLB Insider Jon Heyman reported Wednesday afternoon that the two sides were "closing in" on a deal for a 2020 season, one that would include players being paid prorated salaries over a 60-game season. However, Insiders Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich sounded less sure that a deal will be reached, reporting Wednesday evening that MLB believed that the two sides had agreed to a deal, but the MLBPA felt that while progress was made, no pact has been cemented.

More than half of the NBA has jersey sponsors, ranging from Harley-Davidson to Bumble. The logos of team sponsors are on the top, left side of the jersey, above the team's script. With the Nike Swoosh occupying the right side, one would assume this is where uniform ads would go if MLB adopted them.

Theoretically, teams could opt not to take on a jersey sponsor. There may be cries for teams with classic uniforms - such as the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers - not to tweak their jerseys by adding advertising. That said, there would be quite a bit of money to be made by courting uniform sponsors, and ownership groups may be willing to anger some uniform aesthetics purists to collect that bag.

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