Baseball in 2023 is a much different game than ever before. The new rules have been completely revolutionizing — and, depending on who you talk to, ruining — the game. MLB has instituted a bunch of changes this season, but none have gotten more attention than the pitch clock.
There’s no doubt that its presence has changed how the game is getting played. Not only are automatic strikes and balls an actual thing now, but contests have been 20-30 minutes shorter on average. The pitch clock typically isn’t a topic without strong opinions — you either love what it’s done to the game or you absolutely hate it.
If you’re part of the latter group that wishes it never happened, you might want to turn away. According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, MLB is getting ready to field sponsorship offers for pitch clocks.
Here’s part of what was said in the article:
Baseball could reap tens of millions in new sponsorship fees by allowing a global marketer such as Timex, Omega, or Rolex to attach its brand to the new “pitch timer,” which is shortening games by a half-hour this season.
“MLB is open for business,” said one source.
An MLB-wide sponsorship with a watchmaker or technology company would be worth $10 million or more a year, estimated Bob Dorfman, a sports marketing analyst at Pinnacle Advertising.
McCarthy also noted that each MLB team could have an opportunity to strike a local sponsorship deal.
Is this surprising? No, not at all. But what’s going to be next? Walking into a ballpark is already sensory overload from the standpoint of sponsorships. Uniforms have advertisement patches, and now the pitch clock will follow suit.
Soon enough, the bigger bases will lead to an opportunity to slap some kind of company logo on it. After all, the new rules are leading to more action on the basepaths. MLB will also have to find a way to monetize that, right?
Does the presence of a company logo on the pitch clock change a lot in the grand scheme of things? Not really. It’s just one of those, “Ugh, of course they are” moments that probably took longer to happen than we expected.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.