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Baseball moves toward uniform patches

Mike Florio

NBA teams have allowed sponsorship patches to infiltrate the game uniform. Another major sport may be heading in that direction.

Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal recently reported that Major League Baseball could have uniform patches by 2022.

“We’re examining the patch, but clearly we have things to work through first,” MLB executive vice president of business and sales Noah Garden told Lefton. “I’d say it’s inevitable down the road, but certainly not immediate. This is something that requires a fairly long runway. There are lots of things to take into consideration, but I think we will get there.”

Many think the NFL eventually will get there, too. Already, the NFL uniform bears multiple advertisements for Nike, the manufacturers of the jerseys and pants that players wear. Shoe providers also get free advertising via the logos on the products used by NFL players.

A decade ago, the NFL allowed teams to sell patches on practice jerseys. It’s surely a matter of when not if the NFL decides to exploit another opportunity to earn money for essentially nothing.

And what will happen when that happens? Fans will gripe. Media will have hot takes. And the sport will continue to thrive, because it ultimately will not affect in any tangible way the manner in which people watch and enjoy NFL games.