DETROIT — Among the iconic brands associated with Michigan are the classic Old English D of the Detroit Tigers and the ubiquitous, all-encompassing Meijer stores.
“That is some kind of store,” former manager Ron Gardenhire marveled after paying a visit shortly after taking the job in Detroit in 2018.
So when the Tigers went looking for a jersey sponsor, it was only fitting that the two teamed up.
The Tigers announced on Thursday a multiyear partnership that will make Meijer their new jersey patch partner, placing the store’s brand marks on home and road jersey sleeves. Detroit becomes the 10th MLB team with a jersey patch, and the second team to pair up with a grocery store chain. The Cincinnati Reds announced Kroger as their jersey sponsor earlier this year.
“The Detroit Tigers and Meijer are synonymous with the state of Michigan, and we’re thrilled to extend our partnership with an organization that has a common vision about community engagement,” Tigers executive vice president and chief operating officer Ryan Gustafson said in a statement. “These are two of the most iconic brands in the state, creating millions of memories for fans and families each year. We appreciate Meijer’s support and partnership, and look forward to working together serving our great fans and customers for years to come.”
The deal is the latest venture into Detroit’s sports scene for Meijer, which has had its name on Detroit Red Wings helmets for the past two seasons, and it has had its branding on the backdrop for manager A.J. Hinch’s postgame interviews the past few years.
As with the Red Wings, the Meijer patch on Tigers jerseys will feature the name in its distinct font, but in Tigers colors to blend in with the respective uniforms — blue on white for home jerseys, white on blue for road jerseys.
As part of the partnership, Meijer and the Tigers will make a $100 donation to the Meijer Simply Give hunger relief program for each strikeout recorded by Tigers pitchers, part of the new Striking Out Hunger initiative.