Charlotte’s Web Holdings signs an agreement making the Colorado company the first official CBD sponsor for Major League Baseball.
As first reported by the Sports Business Journal, Charlotte's Web has signed the first CBD sponsorship deal with Major League Baseball making it the "Official CBD of MLB." The new sponsorship includes exclusive category rights and will cover this year's postseason along with an additional three years. As part of the agreement, CW will launch via its e-commerce site a line of sport CBD products featuring MLB's signature silhouetted batter logo.
The brand will also prominently display electronic signage throughout the playoffs and the World Series and is additionally planning a special sweepstakes promotion for the Fall Classic. The deal represents a significant milestone in sports history as MLB becomes the first of the nation's big four sports leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB) to sign a CBD company as an official sponsor.
The terms of the agreement are considered nontraditional, with a rights fee plus a revenue share included in the contract. Likewise, MLB will also be receiving stock in Charlotte's Web, which trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive compound found in hemp. Despite its murky federal legal status, U.S. spending on CBD oils, gummies and pills has proliferated significantly in recent years.
Most major sports leagues have shied away from sponsorships with CBD companies due to the potentially tricky legal issues surrounding the manufacture, sale and use of hemp-derived products. However, smaller sports franchises, including the Angel City Football Club of the National Women's Soccer League, have openly courted and welcomed sponsorship from the burgeoning industry.
With the League's fan base among the oldest for professional U.S. sports, the groundbreaking pact also provides an opportunity for the sport to increase its popularity with a younger audience.
Moreover, as Noah Garden, MLB's Chief Revenue Officer, says, "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."
"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."
- Noah Garden, MLB's Chief Revenue Officer
CW has aggressively pushed for the FDA to take on CBD regulation, and its new Sports line for MLB has been fully NSF-certified not to have any psychoactive levels of THC. The company distributes its products through more than 15,000 retailers and 8,000 healthcare practitioners, as well as online.
Jacques Tortoroli, CEO of Charlotte's Web, shares, "MLB and Charlotte's Web are changing the future of wellness for athletes and fans together. MLB's decision reflects what players and fans really want today by bringing botanical wellness options to support the everyday lives of athletes and fans, particularly around mental wellness."
"MLB and Charlotte's Web are changing the future of wellness for athletes and fans together. MLB's decision reflects what players and fans really want today by bringing botanical wellness options to support the everyday lives of athletes and fans, particularly around mental wellness."
- Jacques Tortoroli, CEO of Charlotte's Web
This budding relationship between MLB and Charlotte's Web will serve as an important litmus test for potential sponsorship deals related to the hemp/marijuana/cannabis industries down the road. Furthermore, with this new large platform for CBD products, the possible reach and effect of cannabidiol on a new audience could be a significant event for the implementation of nationwide legal production and use.
So, as the "Boys of October" take center stage this fall, Charlotte's Web hopes to hit a home run for the future of CBD as a mainstream option for baseball fans' potential health and wellness everywhere.