In the Face of Big-League Issues, TikTok Strikes Deals With the Yankees, YES Network

The three-year sponsorship pacts are valued at $10 million, but they could come to an abrupt end Sept. 20

TikTok will be featured on signage inside Yankee Stadium mizoula.iStock

TikTok’s uncertain future due to pressure from the administration of President Donald Trump didn’t stop it from reaching major sponsorship deals with Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees and regional sports network YES Network, but the same Sept. 20 date hanging over TikTok due to Trump’s executive order is hanging over the partnerships.

TikTok officially unveiled the multiyear strategic partnership in a blog post Wednesday, noting that the ball club already has over 100,000 followers on the platform and adding that exclusive TikTok content will be featured on YES.

A source familiar with the negotiations confirmed the details of a report by Scott Soshnick and Jacob Feldman of Sportico that the team and the network reached sponsorship deals, under which the video-creation platform will pay roughly $10 million over three years for promotional considerations including signage inside Yankee Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Yankees will get team-branded content on TikTok, giving the club a chance to reach the application’s coveted younger demographics.

The deals have been in the works for roughly six months, but if the ban on TikTok takes effect Sept. 20, the partnerships will be terminated, as well.

If TikTok is sold to a U.S.-based company or succeeds in a potential court challenge of Trump’s executive order, the pacts will run their three-year course.

Harish Sarma, who works on global strategic partnerships and corporate development at TikTok, said in a statement, “We’re thrilled to partner with an iconic team and brand like the New York Yankees to enhance the exciting start to the baseball season. Sports are an important part of the content experience on TikTok, and we’re looking forward to bringing the joy of the Yankees to fans across our platform. We look forward to being there alongside baseball fans who have been waiting to cheer on the Yankees and experience the thrill of live sports.”

Yankees senior vice president of partnerships Michael J. Tusiani added, “We are excited to launch this innovative partnership with TikTok. Being able to provide prominent TikTok signage to our audience and engage within TikTok’s popular, forward-leaning platform will undoubtedly generate unique opportunities to connect with our younger fans.”

And YES CEO Jon Litner said, “We are pleased to enter into this new and innovative partnership with TikTok and the New York Yankees. We look forward to working with TikTok to execute unique marketing solutions and develop engaging content to connect with younger, digital-savvy fans.”


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.
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