It's already embraced by the NBA, as well as international sports, such as soccer (football, internationally), Formula 1 car racing, professional cycling (road, mountain) and motorcycle racing.
The NBA has had advertising patches on the front of uniforms for the past two years. Major League Baseball is also considering the ad-patch business.
Good news for the latter: MLB can be slower-paced, with more static video shots (stoppage in play) and/or slow-moving images. The bad new: If MLB moves at all, it will start with a small ad appearance on the sleeve of jerseys.
The NBA ad patch dimensions are 2 1/2 inch x 2 1/2 inches. There are no sleeves on NBA uniforms — though it had experimented with it a while ago.
Right now, the Majestic Athletic-brand logo appears on MLB uniforms — the maker of the uniforms. But that is not going to last. Nike will succeed Majestic as Major League Baseball's uniform supplier beginning with the 2020 season.
And the expectation is the Nike swoosh logo will likely move to a more prominent position on the front of baseball jerseys.
The MLB already has been experimenting with this: Player helmets with product logos have appeared this year in international-played games in Tokyo, London and Monterrey. Not to be outdone, 10 years ago, the NFL began adding sponsorship patches to practice jerseys. Too bad there isn’t much TV coverage for that action.
The on-uniform ad revenue component does OK. Reportedly, NBA teams average roughly $5 million to $20 million per year.
Perhaps the money isn’t as important as what those brands can gain by pulling in new fans.
Amy Brooks, NBA president of team marketing and business operations-Chief Innovation Officer, has said: “We have entrenched, iconic brands looking to get younger and connect with a more diverse audience.”
There is no surprise here: It’s all about millennials.
Guessing MLB, perhaps the oldest-skewing of the four major U.S. sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL), is looking to play a bigger game of marketing hardball.