You know that enormous sleeve advertisement that the Giants began wearing in August? They probably won’t be wearing it again next season.
That’s because the advertiser — a company built around self-driving cars — has just had its permit to operate revoked by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which cited an “unreasonable risk to public safety” after a series of accidents involving the advertiser’s cars.
Per this article, the DMV said that the advertiser’s vehicles “pose a danger to the public and that the company had misrepresented key facts when dealing with safety regulators.”
This would be more embarrassing if the Giants were currently active in the postseason, but it’s still pretty bad. And this isn’t the first time MLB has ended up with egg on its face due to a uniform advertisement. In 2022, the league plastered the umpires with ads for a cryptocurrency exchange, only to sheepishly remove them after the exchange went bankrupt a few months later. The exchange’s founder is now facing trial for fraud and conspiracy.
Obviously, it’s impossible for a team or a league — or anyone else, for that matter — to guarantee that all of their business partners will be beyond reproach. Hell, I’m sure some companies that advertise here on Uni Watch have unsavory episodes in their pasts. But uniform ads aren’t just any old business transactions — they’re big-money, multi-year deals that are announced with a lot of fanfare and are literally in the public eye every day of the season. So you’d think the teams and leagues would be a bit more careful about vetting the people they’re doing business with for these types of deals, wouldn’t you?
Or maybe that’s naïve. Maybe they just hold out for the highest bid and then run to cash the check.
Anyway. The Giants will have the entire offseason to come up with a new sleeve advertiser. I know they’re in Silicon Valley and all, but maybe they should think twice about whoring out their uni to another tech firm.