When Major League Baseball opens the 2019 regular season in Japan later next month, they’ll do so with advertisements on the uniforms.
The Oakland Athletics, the designated home team for the two-game series against the Seattle Mariners, will wear a patch featuring the logo of MGM Resorts Japan on their right sleeve.
As part of that activation, there will be a visible presence around the ballpark, as well as a patch on the uniform for the Oakland A’s. Sources indicate that the Seattle Mariners will have a different sponsor patch that has not yet been revealed at this time. Such patch placement will only be for the international events in Japan.
The two teams will play a total of six games while in Japan, four of which are exhibition games against the Yomiuri Giants and the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball.
Before the outrage machine gets set into motion, remember, this is nothing new for Major League Baseball. Teams from MLB routinely wear advertisements on their jerseys when playing in Japan, yes even in regular season games, and yes, even the New York Yankees, who wore a Ricoh patch for a pair of games in 2004 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays:
The 2019 Japan Opening Series kicks off with the first of four exhibition games on March 17th, the two regular season contests will be played on March 20th and 21st. The advertisements will be removed when the two teams return to North America.