Major League Baseball (MLB) has partnered with CBD brand Charlotte's in what the North American league has called a “groundbreaking deal.”

Through an agreement, announced today (October 12), Charlotte's Web becomes the first official CBD of MLB and, the league claims, the first major professional sports league to form a sponsorship agreement with a CBD company.

MLB has described the tie-up as “a first-of-its-kind exclusive multi-year strategic partnership that opens increased CBD visibility to their professional athletes, millions of fans, and communities.”

It follows on from MLB earlier this year naming the NSF Certified for Sport supplements certification program as the standard that CBD brands must meet in order to sponsor the league and its teams.

Through that, MLB and NSF Certified for Sport, which is part of the larger NSF International product testing, inspection, and certification organization, give their mark of approval to certified CBD products “for players and consumers demanding safe, natural options to support recovery, help keep calm under pressure, and help sleep cycles and focus.”

The Charlotte's Web partnership is the first to take advantage of this and focuses on the brand's Sport – Daily Edge product, a broad-spectrum hemp-derived tincture to be available as gummies, topicals, and oral sprays, which will feature the MLB logo on its bottle.

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In addition, Charlotte’s Web will have a brand presence at MLB events including All-Star Week, postseason, and the World Series, and through marketing, media, and ballpark activations.

Noah Garden, chief revenue officer at MLB, said: “As a leader in the CBD category, with products that provide health and wellness benefits, Charlotte’s Web is a welcome addition to the MLB family, representing a landmark partnership in baseball and sports.

“Charlotte’s Web products which receive the NSF Certified for Sport designation have met the highest safety standards and can be promoted across MLB events and media platforms. We are excited about the possibilities this partnership offers as CBD becomes a more widely adopted part of the health and wellness regimen of our players and fans.”

Jacques Tortoroli, chief executive of Charlotte’s Web, added: “We applaud MLB for being the first-mover in professional sports CBD and are thrilled to welcome their league as a respected strategic partner.

“Bridging our industry-leading brands with science, innovation, and education, this pioneering partnership validates Charlotte’s Web’s core business principle and founding mission to open access to safe, quality, and consistent CBD through our proprietary hemp genetics and industry-forging vision."

Meanwhile, Sage, the business management solutions company, has secured its first sports partnership in North America after agreeing a deal with MLB.

Under a three-year deal, announced yesterday (October 11), Sage will integrate with MLB broadcasts by sponsoring in-game ‘pitching decisions’ features and manager interviews on select televised and streamed games. 

The new sponsored broadcast feature has been designed to provide insights and in-depth analysis around pitching to fans during the regular season, postseason, and All-Star Week.

The Sage brand will appear across various media platforms covering games league-wide, including on Apple TV+, MLB Network, and, beginning with the 2023 regular season.

Sage will also sponsor the ‘pitcher power rankings’ which will appear across MLB digital, social, and linear channels. It will enable fans to track pitcher performance across the season with rankings that feature real-time leaderboard updates.

In addition, the company will support MLB’s Diverse Business Partners (DBP) Program, which supports minority-owned businesses across America.

Of that deal, Garden said: “Sage is an industry leader that shares our passions for data, innovation, and technology.

“These are key pillars for both our organizations, and we look forward to helping Sage grow its brand awareness in North America through a most creative integrated marketing campaign on our leading network of media platforms.”

Cath Keers, chief marketing officer at Sage, added: “Every day at Sage, we’re working hard to surface insights for our customers through brilliant products and services, delivered with a human touch.

“Just like business, MLB is all about tight competitive margins and we are excited to partner on pitching decisions and manager interview content that bring insights to fans, and to create unforgettable experiences for Sage customers and partners.”

Sage’s sports portfolio includes recent deals to sponsor The Hundred, the short-format domestic competition in England and Wales, and the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Elsewhere, BetMGM has been named as an official sports betting partner of the Cincinnati Reds.

The multi-year agreement includes plans to open a retail BetMGM Sportsbook at the team’s Great American Ball Park.

The new venue will allow fans to watch and wager on games all year long.

This marks BetMGM's second sportsbook at an MLB stadium, joining the BetMGM Sportsbook at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. which opened in January 2022.

BetMGM signage will be prominently featured at Great American Ball Park, including a permanent outfield wall sign, messaging behind home plate, and a branded foul line during select games.

The betting brand, which will have its own suite and club seats at the stadium, also plans to curate VIP experiences for its fans including on-field access during batting practice.

The agreement strengthens BetMGM's presence in Ohio ahead of the state's scheduled launch of legalized sports betting on January 1, 2023.

The deal with the Reds follows BetMGM’s recent extension of its partnership with MLB as an official sports betting partner.

Since becoming MLB's first-ever official gaming partner and entertainment partner in 2018, MGM Resorts and BetMGM have continued to grow their commitment to baseball.