Already holders of apparel contracts with the NFL and NBA, Nike is poised to expand their scope by becoming the exclusive provider of MLB on-field uniforms, including baselayers, game-day outerwear and training apparel.
The new deal, a 10-year agreement, will take effect with the 2020 season. Uniforms at that point will shift to featuring the the Nike swoosh. The contract takes the place of one the league agreed to with Under Armour, who backed out of the agreement last year.
“Nike’s global brand and reputation as a leader in driving innovation makes them an ideal partner,” MLB commissioner Robert Manfred said.
In addition to securing licensing rights, Nike will remain an official MLB sponsor, supporting league initiatives, grassroots marketing and fan events. Nike, as part of the new agreement, will partner with all 30 teams and promote its brand and products across MLB media assets, including MLB Network, MLB.com and MLB Social.
“We’re thrilled to bring more innovation and creativity to Major League Baseball and the incredible athletes who play the game,” VP/GM of Nike North America Tom Peddie said. “This is an exciting time for baseball, and we look forward to partnering with MLB to grow the sport both across America as well as around the globe.”
Nike currently has endorsement relationships with more than 500 MLB and Minor League players, including Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, George Springer, Jose Ramirez, Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom, Javier Baez and Nolan Arenado.
Peddie’s remarks suggests Nike may look to change the thinking behind a team’s home and away uniforms, much like it did with the NBA. The brand outfitted teams with multiple designs and options, breaking away from traditional home and road uniforms.