Thanks a lot MLB.
You guys really screwed up this time.
If someone could tell me how to embed GIFs into WordPress, I’d really appreciate it, because I’d love to insert all of the screeming/mad ones in existence and use that instead of words for the rest of the post.
Anyway, since I’m not tech savvy, let me vent my frustration through words:
This is all MLB’s fault, not New Era’s. New Era did exactly what I would do if I were them, and that’s making an offer. In 1993, New Era became the sole provider of on-field Major League Caps, and in 1997, the debuted the “flag” which is on every cap they make (typically on the left side) with the noticeable exception of the MLB on field cap. And while I have zero proof to back this up, I’m positive New Era has nagged MLB every year since 1999 with the same question “How much will it take to put our logo on the on-field caps?”, and every year until this year, MLB has responded with “We’d like to keep the caps clean, and without any logos of any kind”. Until this year, when MLB gave New Era a figure, and New Era said yes without hesitation.
Now, I know some of you might be saying, “Uniforms, pants and now even socks have the manufacturers mark on them! Who cares if the cap does too?”
Well, that’s a fair point, but one has to realize that a hat is much more recognizable then a uniform top or pants. A lot of people assume Nike makes the Uniforms, due to their presence on league undershirts, but Majestic is the actual manufacturer.
Additionally, the cap is different from the uniform. It’s one of the things Baseball is known for. That’s why that type of cap is called a “baseball cap”.
Take a look at this image of T.J Rivera, do you really notice the Majestic Logo, and if so, is it really obtrusive? Personally, it’s hard to make out what it says, and I had to go to the 14th image to find a picture of him with the Majestic Logo present, because it’s so small and only on one sleeve.
Not a major issue, right? That’s why Majestic has always been on the uniforms. Now, let’s take a look at Columbia Fireflies player Tyler Bachelor with his on-field cap:
Unmistakably noticeable. Frankly, the Fireflies don’t make it look that bad, but can you imagine all the times TV camera’s zoom in on the pitcher before the delivery of his pitch? People will instantly be able to know which company makes that cap, and they will have a connection towards the brand.
I have my reservations about this whole thing. I believe the Baseball cap is one of those things that should always remain clean and without any markings, but, we live in a time where merchandise sales are important, and while I’ll never buy a 59Fifty on-field with the New Era cap, and while I’m driving to Dick’s Sporting Goods as we speak to pick up three or four plain Mets caps before the switch next season, this move was inevitable.
If you don’t want the corporate sponsorship on the caps either, the best way to make your voice heard is with your money. Just, don’t by the caps, complain to their Twitter feed, send an email or two, and, who knows, maybe they will retract it in the future.
Finally, if everything else fails, this is always an option: