MLB Keeping Work At Majestic Facility In Pennsylvania As Part Of Fanatics-VF Deal
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred yesterday visited a Majestic MLB production facility in Easton, Pa., as part of Fanatics' official announcement that it has bought VF's Licensed Sports Group (LSG) in a deal that will "keep on-field uniform and fanwear production at the Lehigh Valley facility" well beyond '19, when Majestic's current licenses expire, according to Jon Harris of the Allentown MORNING CALL. Manfred said the "symbolism" of MLB gear being made in the U.S. is "really important to our brand." Manfred noted there was "tremendous amount of interest" from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and U.S. Sens Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) to try and "preserve these jobs" in the state. Manfred, on if MLB will require its uniforms be made in the U.S. moving forward, said, "It's hard to foresee long term and into the future. I know that with the respect to major league on-field uniforms, they're going to be made here for a very long time" (Allentown MORNING CALL, 4/5). In Philadelphia, Joseph DiStefano reported workers at the factory "saw their future in doubt when VF put Majestic up for sale a year ago." Members of Workers United, the Service Employees' Int'l Union affiliate that represents sewing workers, embroiderers and packers at the plant, "cheered the deal" yesterday (PHILLY.com, 4/4). MLB.com's Paul Hagen reported MLB President of Business & Media Bob Bowman and Exec VP/Business Noah Garden "were involved in the talks" (MLB.com, 4/4). Joining Manfred at yesterday's announcement was Wolf, Fanatics Exec Chair Michael Rubin, state Attorney General Josh Shapiro and LSG President Mike Pardini (THE DAILY).