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MLB Playoffs Could Bring an Important Uni Milestone

The MLB postseason begins tomorrow, and there’s an important uni element that we might be seeing for the first time.

Here’s the deal: As you know, when MLB and the players’ union settled the lockout in the spring of 2022, the new collective bargaining agreement allowed teams to sell advertising on their jerseys for the first time. But another little-noted provision also allowed for ads to appear on batting helmets during the postseason.

These helmet ads would be sold and coordinated by MLB, not by the individual teams. That’s how the helmet ads have been handled for more than two decades now for games taking place outside of the USA and Canada. Earlier this year, for example, the Giants and Padres wore helmet ads while playing two games in Mexico:

In case you haven’t heard of Arzyz (I certainly hadn’t), they’re a Mexican metals company. But we’ve also seen MLB arrange helmet ads for more familiar companies:

These shots are from a 2019 game in Mexico.

MLB did not sell postseason helmet advertising last season, even though they could have. Although no official explanation was given, the word I heard through the grapevine was that they didn’t want to rush into it in the first available season. Will they do it this year? We’ll find out soon enough, because the first Wild Card playoff game — Rangers vs. Rays — is scheduled for 3pm Eastern tomorrow.

If they go ahead with it, it will mark the first use of MLB helmet advertising for a game in the United States. Stay tuned.

Comments (15)

    From the “It just keeps getting worse” files. I would hope MLB doesn’t go through with it, but we all know that’s a fool’s hope.

    Christ, that’s horrible. I’ve managed to do a decent job blocking out those hideous sleeve patches…especially when sitting in a stadium. But those helmet ads will be tough to ignore.
    So, we can expect helmet ads to soon be a regular season thing. Assume we can look forward to seeing a big ad patch on caps. And eventually another ad patch on the front of jerseys.

    Muhammad, maybe the next MLB commish can grow some and actually do his job and create innovative ways to grow revenue…..adspace is literally err’where….when does it end….?

    I can already tell you. Been in a locker room recently. New team helmets, with ad stickers, were in storage. I DO NOT KNOW if they were prepared for the playoffs or for 2024.

    I don’t know that any site tracks these uniform or equipment advertisements. Not that I’ve looked much. Wouldn’t collectors need to pay attention to what now defunct cryptocurrency or some such company appeared on the equipment at a point in time? The advertisement would be part of any authentic uniform or other equipment. Seems like a whole new level of ridiculous.

    And now I’m glad the Red Sox finished miles away from a playoff berth.

    Lots of hand ringing from the folks that rag on European sports teams for their advertising. Now it’s “we’re not that bad” instead of “that’s brutal.” My favourite is the apologists that do sportstalk on stations that have teams rights who tow the company line like cowards and tell listeners how unnoticeable the ads are.

    They’re all crummy ( or is it crumby )….
    And the more ads, the crummier…..Euro teams are insufferable sometimes… a Nascar uniform for some teams….

    so with these crummy ads that bring in more revenue, then that means lower ticket prices for us and cheaper streaming to actually be able to watch your team, right? NOT…..SMH.

    The cheapening continues. Next stop: teams incorporating company names like in Japanese Baseball. The Little Caesar’s Tigers and the Anheuser Busch Cardinals.

    My predictions:
    -MLB will ultimately have two sleeve ads, a chest ad, helmet ad and cap ad
    -NFL will have a chest ad (similar to current practice jerseys) and a helmet ad on the back
    -NBA will adopt the soccer approach. A large ad will dominate the uniform front with a small team logo relegated to the upper corner. Also expect a smaller ad on uniform back as well as ads on game warmups.

    No ads on the Texas Rangers helmets, so perhaps we can breathe a sigh of relief for this postseason.

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