The Detroit Tigers have added a sponsorship logo to their uniforms.
The Tigers announced Thursday a multi-year extended partnership with Meijer, which includes a jersey patch with the retailer's logo. The Tigers, becoming the 10th MLB team to have a patch partner, will wear the Meijer branding on the sleeves of their iconic Old English D jerseys beginning Thursday at Comerica Park vs. the Chicago White Sox.
Both home and road uniforms will feature the rectangular logo on the sleeves. MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed to uniform advertising in the collective bargaining agreement signed before the 2022 season.
"The Detroit Tigers and Meijer are synonymous with the state of Michigan, and we're thrilled to extend our partnership with an organization that has a common vision about community engagement," said Ryan Gustafson, the executive vice president and CEO at Ilitch Sports and Entertainment. "These are two of the most iconic brands in the state, creating millions of memories for fans and families each year. We appreciate Meijer's support and partnership, and look forward to working together serving our great fans and customers for years to come."
Teams aren't obligated to sell advertising deals on jerseys, but the Tigers believe every team will have one in the coming years. The terms of the deal between the Tigers and Meijer, a Grand Rapids-based retailer, were not disclosed. Other companies would have paid the Tigers more money for the ad space, but it wasn't a natural tie to Michigan, they said.
Elevate Sports Ventures advised Ilitch Sports and Entertainment throughout the process of adding a patch partner.
Teams can sell advertising space on jerseys and batting helmets.
The Tigers and Meijer will also contribute $100 for every strikeout of an opposing batter, part of the new "Striking Out Hunger" initiative.
"When you think about Michigan, Meijer and the Detroit Tigers are quintessential brands," said Rick Keyes, the president and CEO of Meijer. "Both organizations are rich with history and a genuine commitment to community, which spans generations. The creation of the Striking Out Hunger initiative enhances this relationship, while supporting families in need throughout our state. We're so pleased to strengthen our longstanding partnership with the Tigers and the Detroit community."
The Tigers last made a change to their uniform in 2018, when they replaced the round-top Old English ‘D’ logo — worn on the left breast of home white jerseys nearly every season since the 1930s — with the team’s primary logo, the pointed Old English ‘D,’ which had been worn on the team’s home and road hats beginning in the 1960s.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers add Meijer jersey patch to iconic uniforms