Each time a Giant homers at home this season, the trademark “yodel” from a certain local tech company is heard throughout AT&T Park. If Larry Baer has his way, a matching patch will be seen on that player’s sleeve as he rounds third base (unless some other company offers more money).
From Baer’s most recent interview with Tom Tolbert and Ray Ratto, via HardballTalk:
“This is new revenue. And I think there’s always ownership support for new revenue, right? And, I think that also, quite frankly, we are, owners, very cognizant of ticket prices. And, if this is a way to — and I’m not saying it’s going to be mutually exclusive. I’m not saying, ‘Wow, if there’s advertising on uniforms, then ticket prices are going to be frozen for the next five years.’ I’m not giving to say that. But I do believe that, um, that could be potentially a better alternative. We would support, the Giants would support, this is a better alternative than continuous ticket price increases across the board to fund operations . . . I don’t know who would be on the sleeve, or, whatever. Something tells me it will be a sleeve. It would start with a sleeve.”
NBA commissioner Adam Silver is enjoying a surge in popularity, because he was handed an extremely easy situation in which to look like a fearless leader when Donald Sterling was recorded making racist statements and sponsors hollered loudly enough to get Sterling ousted. But Silver termed the placement of advertisements on NBA uniforms as “inevitable,” (which is why the NBA became so interested in sleeves a couple years ago), so Silver’s approval rating will sink to a level similar to what we’ve seen for Bud Selig, Roger Goodell and Gary Bettman at some point in the next year or two.
Here’s how this is going to go from a baseball perspective. After Selig departs, his replacement, Rob Manfred, will allow/encourage teams to sell ad space on uniforms and/or hats during Spring Training (the NFL does this during training camp — the 49ers have worn company patches on their jerseys for at least two offseasons), which will lead to teams eventually placing ads on regular season uniforms in all sports. In a decade, the playing surfaces of every sport will be covered with ads, players will be walking billboards, and everyone will rush to call the Yankees’ uniform patches the “classiest” ads in all of sports.
Also, the idea Baer floated — that ads would slow the increases in ticket prices — is beyond absurd. The Giants have employed dynamic pricing for several seasons, with the general idea being “we are ‘very cognizant’ of the secondary market, and there’s no way we’re leaving all that extra dough on the table.” Saying uniform ads will allow owners to keep ticket prices reasonable is like saying the owners were looking to give fans a break years ago when they started putting ads everywhere on the stadium they could, from the backstops to the foul poles.