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MLB’s Under Armour transition delayed

US sportswear manufacturer Under Armour’s partnership with North America’s Major League Baseball will now begin in 2020 as originally planned, instead of 2019.

In December 2016, Under Armour agreed a 10-year deal, effective from 2020, to become the exclusive provider of on-field uniform components for all 30 MLB clubs.

Under Armour and sports merchandise firm Fanatics will take over from Nike and Majestic as MLB’s official uniform partners. Following Fanatics’ purchase last year of Licensed Sports Group, including the Majestic Athletic factory in Easton, Pennsylvania, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said the partnership would be brought forward to 2019.

However, the Associated Press news agency reports that the partnership will now commence in 2020, in line with the original terms of the agreement. As a result, Majestic will continue to serve as the league’s on-field uniform partner in 2019. The AP said MLB and Under Armour decided the accelerated schedule could not be met.

Beginning in the 2020 MLB season, Under Armour will be the exclusive MLB provider of all on-field uniform components including jerseys featuring prominent Under Armour branding, baselayer, game-day outerwear, and year-round training apparel for all 30 MLB clubs. 

Fanatics will be granted broad consumer product licensing rights to manage the manufacturing and distribution of Under Armour and Fanatics fan gear, which include jerseys at retail, name and number products and postseason apparel.

In addition to on-field uniforms, Under Armour will provide exclusive connected fitness offerings to MLB teams. Majestic currently has the main MLB uniform licence, while sportswear brand Nike has a deal for base-layer apparel.