Report: Mass Mutual has signed a 10-year/$17M a year jersey patch sponsorship

soxhop411

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For the MLB team marketers, sponsors and agency types gathered in Los Angeles, what was billed as a six-day All-Star “week” turned into a referendum on the 4-by-4-inch ad patches baseball is permitting its teams to sell next season for the first time. With only one uniform deal public — the San Diego Padres’ $9 million per year, four-year patch pact with Motorola — debate on both the value and pricing of MLB’s shiny new penny was second only to Los Angeles’ infinitely snarled traffic as the central concern.

“Patches were the topic of All-Star week; we’ve transitioned from crypto there,” laughed T-Mobile sponsorship chief Amy Azzi, 70 floors above downtown L.A. in the lobby of the Intercontinental, where most of MLB’s commercial affiliates were housed. “They’re an incredible opportunity for any brand that wants awareness, but we have a 10-year relationship with baseball, so it’s probably not us.”
T-Mobile, an MLB corporate patron since 2013, was using its title sponsorship of the Home Run Derby to push “Coverage Beyond,” offering in-flight connectivity and high-speed data in 200-plus countries for customers.

The buzz among the MLB marketing cognoscenti in L.A. was that the biggest deal yet has been struck and it’s one that will surely affect all the others. The Boston Red Sox and Mass Mutual have agreed on terms of a 10-year pact for around $17 million a year, with performance kickers for the team that could boost it to as much as $20 million. The Sox are close-mouthed on the deal, since it isn’t signed, and because rival financial services brand John Hancock is a decades-long Sox sponsor, including having its brand on the outfield wall at Fenway Park.
It would be a significant step up for Mass Mutual, which buys a large amount of sports media, and has a sponsorship portfolio including NHL league rights. While one Red Sox marketer called the deal a “rumor,” the rest of the industry is treating the team’s agreement as fait accompli, and adjusting prices accordingly.
“It’s a milestone for all of us trying to figure out price value in a brand-new market,” said a corporate sales executive at a Midwestern MLB team. “We’re still trying to figure it all out: if the Mets are out at $25 million, what are the Yankees out at?”
https://www.sportsbusinessjournal.com/Journal/Issues/2022/07/25/Upfront/MLB-jersey-patches.aspx
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Heh.. But to be serious for a moment, the anti patch "Purists" don't make sense to me especially given that the nike swoosh is already on the jerseys
Most uniform purists don't like the swoosh to begin with. But the patch was inevitable. MLB needs to make as many dollar bills as possible!
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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If Baseball is America's pastime, then these patches are wholly appropriate to reflect contemporary consumerism and profit motive. In fact, I'd be ok with a Little League style "Chico's Bail Bonds" type patch on the back too. Besides the symbolism, to me it would add to the entertainment value of watching for the different visiting teams.
 

soxhop411

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Most uniform purists don't like the swoosh to begin with. But the patch was inevitable. MLB needs to make as many dollar bills as possible!
Yup.Though it does not bother me that much to be honest. I mean the NBA and soccer have patches,
If Baseball is America's pastime, then these patches are wholly appropriate to reflect contemporary consumerism and profit motive. In fact, I'd be ok with a Little League style "Chico's Bail Bonds" type patch on the back too. Besides the symbolism, to me it would add to the entertainment value of watching for the different visiting teams.
the Funny thing is that people used the "America's pastime" argument for being against using instant replay not too long ago, (and lets not forget for being against the DH in the NL)
 

Ale Xander

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Would this deal help them re-sign Devers?

I prefer Hancock to Mass Mutual (better penmanship) but I prefer Devers to Dalbec/Downs at 3B much more
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Yup.Though it does not bother me that much to be honest. I mean the NBA and soccer have patches,
Honestly, it doesn't bug me as much as it used to. I got really accustomed to watching the NBA, the NHL has ads on helmets; I simply don't care anymore. MLB doesn't seem to care what fans think any more, it's just full steam ahead and if you're on board, great. It's actually more surprising to me that the NFL doesn't have ads on their game day jerseys, but I'm sure that will be coming really soon.
 

Captaincoop

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As long as John Henry can make a little more money, I'm happy. Added revenue from jersey patches and less expenses from letting Devers and X walk away = smart baseball.
 

mauf

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$170M would probably do a lot for their communities. But hey, they might make some of it back from the eight people who see the patch and say, "Oh yeah, I need to switch to Mass Mutual"
It’s an interesting thought experiment to ponder where we’d be as a society if every dollar that is spent on marketing was instead spent on philanthropy, but that’s not the world in which we live.

Perhaps folks at MassMutual think they aren’t perceived as the “big-time” company they think they should be perceived as. If so, buying a uniform patch might be a better spend than buying $17m/year worth of Facebook ads or whatever. I’m not nearly close enough to MM’s business to know if this is a good deal for them, but it makes intuitive sense in a way that, say, GE’s similar deal with the Celtics did not.
 

TonyPenaNeverJuiced

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I really don't mind the patches. Sure, there's a history argument, but the game is the game - it will have no impact on what transpires on the field. As long as I can tell the two teams apart, I'm happy.

View attachment 53607
It won’t be long until this…
Kudos to Greenville for the NASCAR theme night but it's a bit insulting for the player names to be so small (and on the front??) of the jersey. Mac Tools is #38 on Sox Prospects, and I bet he's none-to-happy about this.
 

soxhop411

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Down goes the John Hancock sign

i believe a Mass mutual sign is going in its place
 

IpswichSox

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I can’t believe Volvo stopped advertising on the sign above the Monster in left-center. Most ads at Fenway just kind of blend in and become background noise, I think. But how many times did Joe Castig call home runs “off the Volvo sign!” Same with the Coke bottles on the light towers. I don’t have a problem with replacing the John Hancock signature — as long as Henry is investing the $17 million in the team, like extending Devers, and not buying a new boat.
 

Bunt4aTriple

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I really don't mind the patches. Sure, there's a history argument, but the game is the game - it will have no impact on what transpires on the field. As long as I can tell the two teams apart, I'm happy.



Kudos to Greenville for the NASCAR theme night but it's a bit insulting for the player names to be so small (and on the front??) of the jersey. Mac Tools is #38 on Sox Prospects, and I bet he's none-to-happy about this.
Middle name 5?
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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There was a point in time where the JH sign had some sort of animation, right? Like the MLB logo swung a bat.

Or am I just dreaming this?
 

YTF

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It absolutely has not:

Googling how long the JH sign has been in Fenway netted me this. I'm guessing the author confused that with Hancock's 30 year association with the Sox.

Fenway Park bids adieu to a longtime fixture in centerfield
A plus-sized, prominently placed piece of corporate signage is retiring at historic Fenway Park in Boston. As reported by CBS News, Bay State insurance giant John Hancock has opted not to renew its longtime corporate sponsorship with the Boston Red Sox—as a result, the company’s oversized logo that has floated above the ballpark’s scoreboard in centerfield will come down at the end of the season. The impossible-to-miss sign has been in place at Fenway for 30 years. As revealed by John Hancock chief executive Marianne Harrison in a memo to employees, this isn’t the end of the line for the iconic sign: after it is removed from Fenway, it will be off to new (but likely not greener) pastures.
“We are so proud of our 30 years with the Red Sox and all the games, events, and historic moments that our iconic sign has lit up – from winning the 2004 playoff with heroics that broke the curse to unforgettable concerts by legendary artists,” she said. “We’re planning an exciting new home for the sign and will share more details with you all very soon.”
H/t to CBS Boston
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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According to this article, the Hancock sign went up at the start of the 2001 season. I thought it was added by the Henry group, but apparently it went up as one of the last acts of the Yawkey group.
 

mauf

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You joke, but somehow the Citgo sign is a f---ing historic landmark or something, just because it's in the Fenway backdrop.
This is a good parallel. I was way more excited the first time I saw the Citgo sign in person than I was the first time I saw the Bunker Hill Monument.

For me, the John Hancock signature sign was just another corporate billboard, but for fans born 20 years later, it has always been part of Fenway. They’ll get over it quickly, as I did when they built the Monster Seats, but I can see how that sign’s absence would trigger a bit of nostalgia.