San Diego Padres
- MLB permitting jersey patch sponsorships from 2023
- Motorola becomes Padres’ hall of fame presenting partner and secures Petco Park inventory
The San Diego Padres have unveiled consumer electronics and telecommunications company Motorola as their official jersey patch partner, becoming the first Major League Baseball (MLB) team to strike such a deal.
The multi-year contract sees Chicago-based Motorola also serve as the presenting partner of the Padres’ hall of fame, including interactive technology displays and product integration throughout the exhibit. Additionally, the company will gain branding inventory on left field and in various locations throughout Petco Park.
The agreement, reported by SportBusiness to be worth US$10 million a year, also sees Motorola named as the franchise’s official smartphone partner.
It was first reported in June 2020 that MLB and its players union were set to agree to allow teams to sell sponsorship patches on team jerseys. Initially, this had been expected to come into effect for the 2020 and 2021 seasons – covering the last year of the league’s pre-existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The latest CBA, signed in March, gave the all-clear for jersey patch deals from the 2023 campaign.
A 2019 report from Nielsen stated that MLB teams could earn more from jersey patch deals than National Basketball Association (NBA) franchises. The industry analyst estimated that that such agreements could generate US$11 million in brand value per MLB team each season.
In addition to jersey patches from next year, MLB could reportedly introduce helmet deals in time for the 2022 postseason.
For Motorola, the Padres deal adds to a partnership portfolio that includes the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers, as well as Major League Soccer’s (MLS) Chicago Fire.
“Motorola and the Padres share a commitment and passion towards creating meaningful consumer experiences,” said Rudi Kalil, vice president and general manager, North America, at Motorola.
“Being woven into the San Diego Padres jersey is an exciting and pivotal moment for the Motorola brand and our innovative product line, and we’re thrilled to connect with Padres and worldwide baseball fans through this first-of-its-kind MLB partnership.”
Erik Greupner, chief executive of the San Diego Padres, added: “We are thrilled to partner with a quintessential and innovative brand like Motorola to bring cutting-edge technology, design, and performance to Petco Park.
“Motorola’s iconic logo on our jersey is a perfect alignment with our Padres brand, and we look forward to teaming up to provide a great experience for our fans.”
Elsewhere in MLB, the Los Angeles Dodgers have teamed up with the Sportfive agency to help secure worldwide partnerships for the franchise.
Sportfive will look to fill various Dodgers sponsorship positions, including jersey patch and field presenting partner to Dodgers Stadium.
The agency will leverage its market intelligence, reach and global sales network to identify and secure ideal partners for the team’s partnership positions, whether domestically or internationally.