Major League Baseball Says Yes To CBD Sponsorships: What Took Them So Long?

Major League Baseball has officially approved CBD sponsorships for team jersey patches and more, according to Sports Business Journal.

Although CBD sponsorships can only be sold if the company is certified by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF). The means the company's CBD products cannot contain psychoactive levels of THC, which goes without saying because, well, that's what CBD is.

"We've been watching this category for a while and waiting for it to mature to the point where we can get comfortable with it," MLB chief revenue officer Noah Garden said. "... It's a good opportunity for us and the clubs. The last few companies that came to see us about this, the process of NSF certification was embraced. That gave us a comfort level to be able to move forward."

Garden added that between three and five brands are in the process of receiving NSF certification. In addition to NSF certification, the commissioner's office will need to approve the deal.

Beginning with the 2023 season, MLB jerseys will feature jersey patch sponsorships and CBD companies will be allowed to make deals for those patches. The NBA already has jersey patch sponsorships, and the NHL will also add them in 2022-23.

"We are open-minded to doing a patch deal here, depending on the brand and what that brand represents," Garden said. "It has to have a brand that represents sports."

In addition, CBD companies will be able to air ads during MLB games though as yet there is no info available yet as to what the league and its teams will receive in compensation.

Permitting CBD sponsorships could be wildly lucrative for the MLB and other professional sports leagues in view of the fact that the global CBD market is expected to reach nearly $5 billion in the coming years.

Pro Athletes Have Been Using And Praising CBD For A While Now

A number of professional athletes already use and advocate for CBD products, including professional golfer Rickie Fowler, former NFL's Rob Gronkowski, Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson and US Women's National Team soccer player Megan Rapinoe.

A recent Forbes.com article list even more Olympians, including hurdler Devon Allen, softballer Haylie McCleney, and WNBA champion Sue Bird, who serve as team ambassadors for Rapinoe’s CBD-infused products.

Photo by Bill Stephan on Unsplash

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