After recently seeing some MLB players post their new Rawlings gloves with MLB logos on them, we speculated that Rawlings may be the new “Official Glove” of Major League Baseball. Today we confirmed it. In a press release, Rawlings and MLB announced the partnership that “makes (Rawlings) an Official Glove partner in 2020 and provides them exclusive on-field rights beginning with the 2021 MLB Championship Season.” In other words, Rawlings will share the designation with Wilson, the current Official MLB Glove, in 2020, and then take over exclusively in 2021.
Rawlings gloves are #1 in Major League Baseball, worn by more than half of the MLB (according to Rawlings) and exactly 54% of MLB starters according to our recent 2019 MLB Glove Report. In addition to their ever-presence on Big League diamonds, not long ago, MLB took an ownership stake in Rawlings in a $395 million dollar deal in June 2018. This announcement deepens their already deep relationship.
Why does this marketing agreement matter to us, the ballplaying public, though? Aside from the fact that you’ll see more MLB logos flying around Rawlings’ social channels and such, Rawlings now has the rights to use MLB logos on their glove products. Here’s an example, sent to WPW from Nick Ramirez of the Detroit Tigers:
See the MLB logo? Adds that extra helping of swag to an already stupidly swagged-out glove. Here’s another from Trevor Williams, starting pitcher for the Pirates:
While the MLB logo is cool, we’re excited to see what else they can do with it. How about team logos? We’ve seen them on Wilson gloves, but I can’t say they were popular in the MLB—maybe due to the fact that you don’t want a team logo on your gamer if you might get traded. Nature of the business. But how about for us non-pros? A lot can be done with those logos… maybe a team logo-based glove line? How about Minor League logos? I’m excited to see where they take it.
How about you?? What do you think about the announcement? Please comment and I’ll respond to the hottest takes.