Nike, currently the official outfitter of the NBA and NFL, may soon add a third league to its growing list of sporting partnerships.
A new report from Sports Business Daily suggests that beginning in 2020 Nike will acquire the uniform rights of Major League Baseball. The on-field apparel rights will reportedly see Swoosh branding on MLB jerseys and pants. Fanatics will continue to tote the load where retail versions of apparel and jerseys are concerned.
MLB uniform rights currently reside with Under Armour, whom acquired them back in 2016. Yet amidst very public financial struggles, retaining the deal long-term appears hugely problematic on multiple fronts. By not pursing the deal further, SBD’s Terry Lefton reports, Under Armour will save about $50 million.
Under Armour was in a very different place when they did this deal years ago. This type of deal today, with its massive overhead, seems a bit more than they can currently manage.
Nike, on the other hand, has the opposite problem — if it can be considered a problem at all. It’s said that Nike’s new deal with MLB is approximately 80% done. It’s widely assumed that the new partnership could be announced during the MLB All-Star Game in July.
Poised to dominate the popular market with deals spanning America’s most endearing sports genres, Nike will grow even more profitable and widespread in the years ahead. Stay tuned for more on this budding story as it develops.