New Contract Between Nike and MLB Might Destroy Local Bronx Businesses

Photo: Ephemeral New York

Just don’t do it.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has just called on Nike and the New York Yankees to protect local Bronx businesses around the Yankee Stadium area that will be affected by a new contract that is set to go in effect in 2020. This decision means that eight family-owned Bronx businesses—Ballpark Sports, D & J Variety, Home Plate, Pinstripe Collectibles, Sammy’s, S & A Sports, Stadium Souvenirs and Stan’s Sports World—will no longer be able to sell official Yankees merchandise. Since Yankees merchandise represents between 70 and 80 percent of each store’s total business, these merchants would be forced to close. These businesses employ 100 people and represent millions of dollars in economic activity each year.

A new merchandising agreement between Major League Baseball and Nike set to go into effect in 2020 will prevent most official league merchandise—including New York Yankees merchandise—from being sold at locations that are not considered “premium distribution points” by Nike.

“Taxpayers spent a great deal of money building the Yankees their new stadium. It is incumbent on the team to intervene on behalf of these eight businesses and get them grandfathered in to this new agreement, given their long history of selling official merchandise,” said Borough President Diaz. “It is time for the New York Yankees to step up to the plate and be a good neighbor. Failing to do so will cloud the team’s relationship with the surrounding community for decades to come.”

The full letter can be found at

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