Sources: Red Sox could make $15 million or more selling jersey sponsorships originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Tucked into baseball’s new CBA is a provision allowing teams to sell advertising in the form of helmet decals and uniform patches. It may not sound like much, but it could be big business — especially for the Red Sox.
According to multiple sources with knowledge of the discussions, the Red Sox have engaged with the powerhouse Creative Artists Agency to find sponsorship partners in a deal that could be worth $15-$20 million annually.
Purists might howl, but part of the purpose of the new CBA was to open new revenue streams, and jersey sponsorships could be hugely lucrative. The NBA, NHL, NASCAR, and Major League Soccer already include advertisements on their uniforms/racing suits, and European soccer fans are used to seeing kits emblazoned with corporate logos.
John Henry’s Liverpool club, for instance, has sported the name of financial services giant Standard Chartered across its chest since 2009, at a most recent value of over $50 million USD annually. That sponsorship expires next year and is expected to break records.
Similarly, world-famous clubs like Barcelona (Japanese e-commerce behemoth Rakuten), Inter Milan (until recently, tire manufacturer Pirelli), and Real Madrid (Dubai-based airline Emirates) are intimately associated with their corporate sponsors.
The nascent MLB market isn’t on the same global level — and baseball teams aren’t ready to cover their uniforms in logos — but it should still fill the coffers of the league’s 30 owners. Per a source, the Yankees are expected to ask for $28 million, the Mets $25 million, and the small-market Pirates $8 million, as a means of comparison.
While there’s no word yet on whom the Red Sox might partner with, in Europe the big sponsors are financial services companies, airlines, and the newest investor on the scene, cryptocurrency companies.
With live sports one of the few remaining properties guaranteed to attract a captive TV audience, and the Red Sox a worldwide brand, they’re sure to be one of the most desirable MLB investments.