If you take a closer look at this year’s Angels kits, starting with Saturday’s Cactus League opener against the Seattle Mariners, you might notice something different.
On one sleeve of each jersey the Angels wear is a small blue and white patch, with the more visible letters “FBM”, for Foundation Building Materials.
The Orange County-based building materials and products company is the first jersey patch sponsor for the team. And this year also marks the first time MLB teams have been allowed to display sponsorships on jerseys and batting helmets, joining other major sports leagues already participating in the venture.
The Angels were the fourth team to announce such a deal among MLB teams. The Boston Red Sox’ deal with MassMutual is valued at $17 million over 10 years and the San Diego Padres’ with Motorola for $9 million over four years. according to Sports Business Journalwho also reported that the Cincinnati Reds’ patch deal with Kroger is valued at $5 million a year.
The value of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ multi-year deal with Avnet is not publicly known. The Angels, meanwhile, declined to comment on the terms of their three-year jersey patch deal with FBM.
“When it comes to the league and the teams and the players, it’s going to be a tremendous amount of incremental revenue for those entities,” said Jason Miller, senior vice president and head of properties at Excel Sports Management.
Excel’s properties division has helped a number of different teams in the NBA, MLS, NHL and MLB find jersey patch partners. They helped the Angels find FBM and advised the Red Sox on their deal.
The process of finding and signing a deal with jersey patch partners for teams in different sports takes an average of a year, but the Angels process took about eight months, Miller said. Excel began looking into potential partner brands for the Angels in April, and a deal with FBM was agreed upon by the end of 2022.
The Angels had over 100 interested companies not only locally but also from Japan due to Shohei Ohtani’s presence on the team. Since all jersey patch deals with MLB teams must have a minimum three-year commitment, and Ohtani’s status as an angel isn’t guaranteed after 2023, it made it hard for many of Japan’s brands to want in, Miller explained. The previous possible sale of the team was also discussed during the process, but that did not deter FBM.
The revenue generated from these deals, based on the known numbers, pales in comparison to the salaries of big stars like Mike Trout and Ohtani – who will each earn at least $30 million this season – let alone the payroll of a team. Projected payroll for 2023, according to Cots Baseball Contracts, for the Angels is $222.2 million; the Red Sox, $210.8 million; the Padres, $266.3 million; the Diamondbacks, $119.6 million; and Cincinnati Reds, $96.6 million. But it can help teams subsidize total revenue for their payroll, as former New York Mets general manager Steve Phillips explained.
As for signing — or re-signing big stars, such as Ohtani, many of whom have speculated they could be awarded the highest contract in baseball history — it’s important to remember that these deals and the money they bring in as a whole must be considered. . These deals are available for any team to explore to reap the same additional revenue.
“I think it will definitely give the teams more money to spend, but it won’t separate them,” said Phillips, now an analyst with MLB Network. “Because they’re all going to have that access and the ability to monetize it more.”
How lucrative the jersey patch industry can be for MLB teams, Miller explained, will also depend on other factors, such as a team’s performance, exposure in the market, what their media market is and the team’s star power. For example, the Mets were looking for deals between $15 and 20 million, according to Sports Business Journal.
As for the players, having jerseys advertised was part of the new collective bargaining agreement the players’ union negotiated with team owners last year.
“We talked about it in the meetings, but it wasn’t a big bone of contention,” recalled Jared Walsh, the Angels’ player representative. “There were other things that were more on that front burner.”
Regarding the patches themselves, Walsh added: “I don’t think the patch is too invasive. I think if it got to the point where it gobbled up the whole jersey guys might be a little iffy about it.