The New York Yankees announced during the All-Star break that they will add an advertising patch to the sleeves of their uniforms for the remainder of the 2023 season. The deal with Starr Insurance could reportedly remain in effect until 2031 for $25 million per year.

“We are extremely proud to welcome Starr Insurance as the Yankees’ first-ever Signature Partner,” owner Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “Having had Starr as an insurance carrier of ours for the last decade and having worked closely with their leadership team as part of our preestablished partnership, it is clear that Starr is the right company to embark with on this landmark relationship. There were many aspects of Starr that aligned with our organization, including their century-plus history, significant New York presence, worldwide reach and unparalleled commitment to the community.”

The Yankees are not the first team to make advertising deals for uniform patches, as big-market squads like the Mets and Braves have already begun donning them to mixed reviews. The Yankees have already received additional criticism, however, because of their status as the most traditional team in baseball. The team has famously not included last names on either their home or away jerseys for more than a century and has strict rules about excess facial hair.

Because of their brand as the most storied team of America’s pastime, the Yankees’ new advertising deal comes in direct conflict with that image for some fans.

“What is the amount of money that allows an insurance company to slap their logo on the most famous pinstripes uniforms on planet Earth?” Rich Eisen said on his podcast after the announcement, adding that it was mandatory for the Yankees to use the money to acquire talent.

While the Yankees are sure to receive more blowback than most, their decision to add a patch to their uniforms is part of a massive trend that will eventually consume a majority of teams in the league. Thirteen teams will now bear an advertiser’s patch with many more teams expected to follow in the coming months.

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