Alignments in sport occur at every juncture. Teams have relationships with beverage and food companies, auto dealerships and furniture companies. The relationships are endless that can be hatched to generate alternative streams of revenue.
The New York Mets and New Balance have announced a long-term landmark agreement making New Balance the official footwear and apparel company of the Mets and Citi Field. Per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
This is a great opportunity for branding in a sport that New Balance currently dominates and has a considerable number of sponsored athletes. The relationship is sure to be a benefit to the community and charities, but New Balance is taking preventive measures. In 2016 Under Armour came to an agreement to be the official outfitter for the MLB. Unlike current contracts with Majestic this means that like Nike has done with the NFL and NBA, the logos of UA will be everywhere meaning teams will only be able to have their athletes wear the footwear that players are contracted to.
When the deal with Under Armour was announced I wrote several posts explaining why UA and MLB was of little significance. My logic was basketball is quickly growing to be the second most popular sport behind soccer, internationally. In the U.S. basketball isn’t rivaling football, but as far as star power it definitely outshines the NFL and the MLB doesn’t even compare. This doesn’t have anything to do with New Balance and this new deal with the Mets.
New Balance has invested a considerable amount of time into baseball. They have a bevy of MLB stars on their sponsorship roster. As 2020 quickly approaches and UA becomes a dominant image in the game, NB is making sure to levy relationships with historic franchises to keep their presence vital. I can actually see New Balance making an effort to gain this same alliance with other MLB teams. It’s a logical move to help stave off the potential diminishing presence of the N around the league.
The relationship between the two entities will include year-round New Balance presence throughout Citi Field beginning in 2018 including a significant sized sign above the Shea Bridge, below the auxiliary scoreboard, along with external signage outside the ballpark. The agreement will also include uniforms for a variety of staffing groups on event nights at Citi Field in the form of polo shirts, shoes and jackets. Additionally, Mr. Met and Mrs. Met will be decked out with New Balance footwear.
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