Major League Baseball introduced sweeping rule changes before the 2023 season with the intent of speeding up the game and creating a more entertaining product for baseball fans. As players and fans adjust to the new changes, the MLB pitch clock could soon undergo its own change.
MLB introduced the pitch clock this season to improve the pace of the game and the results thus far are encouraging. From 2016-’22, the average MLB game lasted longer than three hours. Thanks to the new MLB pitch clock, the average duration of a nine-inning game in 2023 is down to 2 hours and 36 minutes.
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Pitchers and batters have learned to adjust to the new pitch clock and it hasn’t proven to be a distraction for fans watching at home or the ballpark. However, in the modern era where MLB sponsors everything, the pitch clock itself stands alone without any advertising but that could soon change.
According to Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports, the MLB pitch clock sponsorship could be worth upwards of $10 million and the league is actively looking for an advertising partner.
It should come as no surprise that a league that earned $11 billion in revenue last season is looking for more ways to increase profits. Sponsoring the pitch clock at each MLB stadium and on television wouldn’t damage the viewing experience for fans and that makes it a perfect opportunity for the league to make more money in the years to come.
While there are no known suitors for the MLB pitch clock, Front Office Sports pointed to companies like Rolex, Timex and Omega as potential partners who would time into the theme of MLB’s new clock.
It wouldn’t just be an opportunity for the league itself to increase revenue, all 30 MLB teams could pursue individual partnerships with brands for the pitch clocks in their ballparks.
“I would think any time-related company would jump on it. Particularly this season. It’s got so much attention. It’s successful. Everybody seems to be loving it. Any watch- or time-related company would jump all over it. Even TIME magazine.”Pinnacle Advertising sports marketing analyst Bob Dorfman on the interest from sponsors in the MLB pitch clock
While some baseball fans remain opposed to the MLB pitch clock, preferring the days when the length of a game didn’t matter, it’s evident the timer is here to stay. Between the support it has received from players, its influence in reducing game durations and the potential sponsorship opportunities, the pitch clock is paying off for MLB.
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