Clothing apparel company Under Armour will supplant Tampa-based Majestic as the uniform designer for Major League Baseball, beginning in 2020, as well as Nike, who have partnerships for other licensed apparel worn on the field and in batting practice.
To date, Under Armour had only been involved with collegiate sports for the jersey designs. Their shoes are currently worn by several athletes in MLB.
The deal partners with Jacksonville-based apparel manufacturer and distributor Fanatics in a three-organization model for the fan-component. New Era’s contract to make MLB hats expires after 2019, and a new deal has not yet been reached.
According to Darren Rovell at ESPN, this deal is another byproduct of the great MLBAM:
The deal was the brainchild of Bob Bowman, the mastermind behind the league's MLB Advanced Media arm who became president of business and media for the league two years ago. Bowman's dream was to get a mass brand with major marketing power to have its logo on the uniform while having a mass retailer capable of ramping up distribution and speed to market.
The full details are available in the following press release:
MLB Partners with Under Armour and Fanatics to Build on Global Growth and Drive Continued Passion for Baseball
BALTIMORE, MD (December 5, 2016) – Today, Under Armour (NYSE: UA, UA.C), Fanatics and Major League Baseball (MLB) announce a 10-year partnership that names the global performance brand as the official uniform provider to MLB, marking Under Armour's first-ever professional league uniform deal. The three organizations joining together introduces a new revolutionary model defined by its vision for–and investment in–serving millions of fans and players at all stages of the game. The collaborative partnership will provide cutting-edge on-field apparel for players, as well as the most responsive and significant merchandise assortment ever available for fans.
Beginning in the 2020 MLB season, Under Armour will be the exclusive MLB provider of all on-field uniform components including jerseys featuring prominent Under Armour branding, baselayer, game-day outerwear, and year-round training apparel for all 30 MLB Clubs. Fanatics, a global leader of licensed sports merchandise, will be granted broad consumer product licensing rights to manage the manufacturing and distribution of Under Armour and Fanatics fan gear, which include jerseys at retail, name & number products and Postseason apparel. Under Armour and Fanatics expect to offer an assortment of new fan gear apparel and accessories at retail, prior to the 2020 season.