According to a report today over at the Sports Business Journal, Major League Baseball is about to enter into an agreement with Nike to be the official on-field uniform provider for the league’s thirty teams.
The deal is a surprise to many as MLB and Under Armour had previously announced a deal for UA to handle the on-field uniforms beginning with the 2020 season only a year-and-a-half ago. According to an industry insider referenced in the post at SBJ, by allowing Nike to take over the deal it will save Under Armour a crucial $50 million during a time when the company is experiencing some financial problems.
As part of MLB’s deal with Under Armour, their “UA” logo was set to appear on the *front* of all on-field team jerseys in the upper right corner; we can only presume that the famous Nike swoosh will get a similar treatment once their deal kicks in.
While the deal is not yet official the SBJ report figures it’s about 80% done and should be announced at the 2018 MLB All-Star Game in Washington — coincidentally, the deal with Under Armour was also announced in Washington during an event at the 2016 Winter Meetings (they had an open bar, it was nice).
Once the deal is finalized it would give Nike the on-field uniform rights to Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the National Basketball Association. Adidas recently began a deal with the National Hockey League effectively blocking Nike’s “Big Four” monopoly, however Nike is the on-ice uniform provider for the ice hockey event during the Winter Olympics.