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In a recent announcement, Major League Baseball announced a sponsorship deal with cannabidiol (CBD) company Charlotte’s Web.
Major League Baseball (MLB) is continuing to be a breakout star in the cannabis industry. In 2019, they removed cannabidiol (CBD) from its list of banned drugs (1), which was the first US sports league to do so. Now, the MLB is the frontrunner again by striking a sponsorship deal with cannabidiol (CBD) products maker Charlotte’s Web, the first of the four major US sports leagues to reach a deal with a CBD company (2).
CBD is a cannabinoid known for its medicinal uses to relieve pain and alleviate stress. Charlotte’s Web Holdings Inc. produces a variety of CBD products such as tinctures, topical sprays, and gummies. The MLB’s press release (3) stated, “The rigorous approval process that brought the two legacy brands together fills a major gap in the sports channel for an NSF Certified for Sport® portfolio of CBD products for players and consumers demanding safe, natural options to support recovery, help keep calm under pressure, and help sleep cycles and focus.”
In June, the US Sport league officially allowed clubs to form sponsorships with CBD companies that are certified for sport by The National Science Foundation (NSF), which is an institution that inaugurates standards for products used by athletes. Numerous celebrities and athletes have endorsed CBD products. For example, Hall of Fame National Football League (NFL) running back, Terrell Davis, partnered with investors in 2018 to produce a CBD-infused sports drink (2).
The newly formed partnership between the MLB and Charlotte’s Web arrives as the CBD maker releases a product called Daily Edge, a tincture that is also the first CBD product to be certified for sports by NSF. The item will feature the MLB logo on its bottle. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to certify CBD products, but that hasn’t stopped the cannabinoid from growing in popularity. As reported in 2021 (2), the US CBD market hit $4.7 billion in total sales. The MLB and Charlotte’s Web three-year deal is worth $30.5 million (1). One of the deal’s components will be to promote Charlotte’s Web products during games, as well as on the MLB’s social media platforms, streaming digital channels, and during post-season games. The leagues fanbase is estimated around 180 million fans, which will bring a different geographic of customers to Charlotte’s Web.
"Wherever you see MLB, you'll see Charlotte's Web," Jacques Tortoroli, CEO of Charlotte's Web, told CBS on their MoneyWatch program (1). "What we're about is making sure there's calmness of the mind so you can perform your best."
Also included in their partnership, the MLB obtained an estimation of 6.1 shares of Charlotte’s Web (1). The CBD company also is required to pay the MLB a 10% royalty on any products sold that have the MLB branding on it after the total sales exceed $18 million. Shortly after the MLB’s announcement, Charlotte Web’s stock rose nearly 25% and traded at 75 cents a share.
“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,” said Noah Garden, MLB Chief Revenue Officer, in the MLB’s statement (3,4). Garden also added that the deal makes CBD "a more widely adopted part of the health and wellness regimen of our players and fans."
“Nature is the most intelligent and advanced technology system in our world, and when we work with nature for health and innovate through the lens of community care, we can truly redefine what it means to be well as an athlete. This is game-changing, and I am excited by what we can accomplish with the MLB partnership,” said Jared Stanley, Co-Founder, COO Charlotte’s Web (3).
With this exciting new partnership made official, it surely is a home run for CBD.