New MLB jerseys: A hit or a miss?
March 1st, 2024, Rishad Dsouza

New MLB jerseys: A hit or a miss?

A month out from the start of the MLB 2024 season, the new jerseys for the 2024 MLB season designed by Nike and manufactured by Fanatics have been a hot topic. Fans and players have both weighed in on the “Nike Vapor Premier” jerseys, and opinions covered by the media have been more negative than positive.

Among other gripes, some fans have bemoaned the replacement of embroidered logos with printed ones and some players have joined in the criticism about the apparent quality of the jerseys too. MLB, meanwhile, has put out a statement explaining the process that has gone behind the development of the new kits and its emphasis on better performance.

A new YouGov snap poll examine what fans make of the topic. The news has certainly caught the attention of the fans – with over two-thirds of them saying they have either heard about the new jerseys or seen pictures of them (67%). And among those who have heard about or seen the new kits, 37% have a positive impression about them, outnumbering the share of those who have a negative impression (28%).

What should be even more encouraging for MLB, Nike and Fanatics is that regular jersey buyers are more likely to have a positive opinion than a negative one. Among fans who say they buy MLB merch every season, over half (56%) have a positive impression of the new jerseys and fewer than a quarter have a negative impression (23%). Only among those who buy merch less than every five years are more likely to have a negative view (27%) of the new kits than positive (17%).

While 28% having a negative impression may be slightly concerning, MLB commissioner has said that some amount of negative feedback was to be expected as with any new initiative. It will be interesting to see which way the pendulum of opinion swings in the months to come.

MLB’s main counter to criticism about the jerseys has been that the new jerseys have been built for comfort and performance, claiming that the new gear received mostly positive feedback from players who wore them at the All-Star Game last year. Fans tend to agree that player comfort should be at the forefront of design choices when creating gear.

About half of them say that player comfort and performance should be prioritized (51%), well eclipsing those who feel other factors such as team heritage (17%), how the jersey looks (14%) and sustainability (11%).

Perhaps this emphasis on performance explains why majority of fans have either a positive or neutral impression of the new jerseys.

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Methodology: YouGov polled 2,000 US adults online between February 29 to March 1, 2024. The survey was carried out through YouGov Surveys: Self-serve. The total sample of MLB fans is 774 adults. Data is weighted by age, gender, race, political affiliation, education level and region with quotas on age.