Brief • 3 min Read
While most think they are tacky, only 1 in 5 Americans oppose sponsorships of jerseys in major league sports
In partnership with Front Office Sports, The Harris Poll conducted a survey gauging the sentiments of Americans regarding advertisement of sports jerseys across U.S. sports. This research was conducted in response to the recent announcement that the San Diego Padres are partnering with Motorola to feature a patch with Motorola’s logo on the sleeve of its jerseys beginning with the 2023 season—the first such partnership across Major League Baseball (MLB). The study found that 4 in 5 (83%) U.S. adults either support or are ambivalent to uniform sponsorship in major league sports, suggesting revenue opportunities for teams and new advertising opportunities or brands.
For both teams and brands, uniform sponsorship deals seem to carry more pros than cons.
Eight in 10 US adults (83%) at least somewhat agree that uniform sponsorship agreements are a good source of revenue for professional sports teams. A similar number (81%) at least somewhat agree that these agreements are a good source of publicity for brands. This increases to 86% among MLB fans.
However, the study also found 56% of U.S. adults (vs 58% of MLB fans and 54% of non-fans) at least somewhat agree that it’s tacky to feature brand logos on players’ uniforms. These findings suggest that fans recognize the value of collaboration between brands and major league teams, even if it comes at the cost of classic jersey designs.
In general, MLB fans are more receptive than non-fans to uniform sponsorship arrangements, both for MLB teams and in professional sports overall.
About half (51%) of U.S. adults who identify as MLB fans at least somewhat support the league’s decision to permit uniform sponsorship agreements (vs 26% of those who do not identify as MLB fans). This extends to their outlook in general, as about half (49%) of MLB fans, compared to only 28% of non-fans, support uniform sponsorship agreements in professional sports overall.
Two in five (39%) U.S. adults express at least some support for uniform sponsorship deals in professional sports, and 35% support the specific decision of the Padres to partner with Motorola on their jersey patch. Support of the Padres agreement among MLB fans climbs to 45%.
All told, the future looks bright for both MLB teams and the brands whose logos appear on jersey patches moving forward.
This survey was conducted online in the United States by The Harris Poll during April 22nd–25th, among 2,043 adults (aged 18 and older). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region, household income, and propensity to be online were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the U.S. population. Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in our surveys. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 4.0 percentage points using a 95% confidence level. This credible interval will be wider among subsets of the surveyed population of interest. For more information, please contact Madelyn Franz, or Andrew Laningham.
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