The Yankees, MLB and Nike have reached an agreement with local mom-and-pop businesses that allows them to sell merchandise outside Yankee Stadium.
Originally, a deal had been struck only allows the sale of official league merchandise at Nike “premium distribution points.” The Yankees fired back against criticism of the deal, vowing support for the local community after Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr. said a contract between Nike and Major League Baseball would “destroy” small businesses near Yankees Stadium.
“I am pleased to learn that the New York Yankees, Nike and Major League Baseball were receptive to public pressure to do the right thing, and have heeded the concerns of our business community in the area surrounding Yankee Stadium,” Diaz Jr. said in a statement. “The news that these three entities have reversed their policy that would have prevented these longtime mom-and-pop stores from selling official Yankee merchandise is a welcome one.”
“We are pleased that Nike and Major League Baseball expeditiously moved to address this issue,” the Yankees said in a statement. “Constructive dialogue that was initiated by our local council members and partners in the business improvement district led us to urge Nike and Major League Baseball to work together on a solution that recognized the needs of those who live in the neighborhood surrounding Yankee Stadium. We are heartened by the swift resolution that will allow local business owners to continue to sell a wide variety of Yankees merchandise.”
“The South Bronx is our home, and we take pride in being a productive member of our community.”
The businesses — Ballpark Sports, D & J Variety, Home Plate, Pinstripe Collectibles, Sammy’s, S & A Sports, Stadium Souvenirs and Stan’s Sports World — employ 100 people and represent millions of dollars in economic activity annually, the borough president said.
“As I have always said, if you want to do business in The Bronx, you have to do business with The Bronx,” he added. “This agreement helps Nike, Major League Baseball and the New York Yankees do just that,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.