Last week, we told you about how the NHL was discussing the possibility of adding advertisements to their teams’ uniforms, and that they weren’t the only league to consider going through with it. The NHL also said that they didn’t want to be the first to go through with actually putting ads on uniforms, and that they’d wait until one of the other leagues to do it. While the league itself hasn’t come out and said so, one CEO of a MLB team thinks that we’re looking at an inevitability as far as baseball is concerned.
Larry Baer (the CEO of the San Francisco Giants) recently threw this nugget in a local radio interview, and thanks to NBC’s Hardball Talk, we got a chance to see exactly what he thinks about ads on jerseys, and he makes it very clear that he (and the San Francisco Giants) is all in favor of baseball going through with that change.
I’m not saying, ‘Wow, if there’s advertising on uniforms, then ticket prices are going to be frozen for the next five years.’ I’m not giving to say that. But I do believe that, um, that could be potentially a better alternative. We would support, the Giants would support, this is a better alternative than continuous ticket price increases across the board to fund operations . . . I don’t know who would be on the sleeve, or, whatever. Something tells me it will be a sleeve. It would start with a sleeve.”
So basically, Baer’s reasoning would be that it would help curtail the rising prices of tickets. Tell that to soccer fans over in England, where there is a growing concern that fans are being priced out of games despite the fact that, you know, soccer teams have advertisements placed front and center on their shirts. So color me skeptical about ads on jerseys do much to keep ticket prices down. I’ll believe that when I see that.
As for seeing ads on baseball jerseys, this sounds in line with what we’ve seen on NFL practice jerseys and what the NBA said they would do when it came to applying ads on jerseys: Just a simple patch on the upper part of the jersey to begin with, then who knows where teams will go from there.
Also, it’s kind of ironic that the Giants are fans of adding ads onto jerseys, considering that they were one of the teams who played a series in Japan and had to wear advertisements on their jerseys. Barry Bonds did it himself a few times when MLB played All-Star Exhibition games in Japan, as you’ll see below.
Even the Yankees, the team with arguably the most iconic and legendary uniforms not just in baseball but in all of sports, got in on the act in their trip to Japan.
But for now, all we can do is speculate: What do you think about the CEO of the San Francisco Giants throwing his support behind this idea?