Previously, advertisers with MLB would do one deal with the league for the rights to use uniforms and logos and would require a separate negotiation with the Players Association for the rights to show three or more active players. Some companies found that arrangement cumbersome and would opt to utilize retired players instead. The Players Association said the disjointed process also compromised its negotiating leverage, resulting in fewer deals.
“From a negotiating standpoint I was limited … I wasn’t able to maximize the value of the player rights,” Evan Kaplan, managing director of MLB Players Inc., said in an interview. “Too often, potential partners are calling me up saying ‘We’ve just brokered a deal with MLB, we want to use players.’ They lay out what they want to do, and they don’t have the budget for it.”
Baseball players make less off their field as compared to their counterparts in other sports.
Under the new agreement, official MLB partner Dairy Queen negotiated group player rights for ads that feature the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman, Kris Bryant of the Rockies, Ozzie Albies of the Braves and the Twins’ Byron Buxton
Group player rights include game footage and highlights, or appearances by more than two players. Rights to one or two players are negotiated separately with the players and their agents.