Cubs in 7
By: Marcus Williams
Apparel giant Under Armour recently inked a deal to become the official uniform supplier of Major League Baseball. This deal marks the end of an era that saw Majestic hold the license to the MLB portfolio since 2005. While the deal is not expected to get teams into Under Armour products before the 2020 season, there is reason for optimism from both players and fans.
Under Armour has transformed itself from an upstart competitor into one of the most respected names in the athletic apparel industry over the last decade.
MLB Inks New Uniform Deal with Under Armour
Their approach to clothing technology may result in uniforms that are lighter and more breathable for both players and fans. This deal is a landmark agreement for the company that has headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland. While terms of the agreement have not yet been released, this is a boost for the Under Armour brand that recently lost out to Nike on the deal to be the official uniform sponsor of the National Football League.
MLB may be able to capitalize on the relationship with Under Armour to capture the attention of younger fans. Bryce Harper and others have bemoaned the fact that baseball has became boring, and Under Armour may be able to introduce an element of tech in baseball uniforms that have remained unchanged for years.
If nothing else, Under Armour will give fans easier access to their favorite team's and player's' uniforms with its expanded distribution network. It will be interesting to see if Major League Baseball gives Under Armour the freedom to design alternate uniforms for MLB teams akin to the way that the National Football League has let Nike push the envelope, and in some instances the bands of good taste, with their Color Rush uniforms.
Baseball's culture seems more resistant to change than the NFL, so it may take Under Armour a few years to build the relationship that will allow them to tweak some of America's most iconic uniforms. It is interesting that Under Armour is already the primary sponsor of the Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper who has been one of the most vocal critics of Major League Baseball.
While this is not likely a direct attempt to please one of their biggest stars, it certainly cannot hurt the sport that needs stars like Harper and Mike Trout to regain its popularity from a younger demographic. While Under Armour has already inked multiple deals as the official uniform provider for many collegiate teams, this is the first time that they have been the uniform provider of an entire league.
Under Armour has not yet commented on the deal that was inked in mid-October, but there is certainly a sense of excitement on the diamond.