Philadelphia Union press release:

CHESTER, Pa. (January 31, 2023) –  Philadelphia Union and Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc., the largest baking company in the United States and proud member of the Grupo Bimbo family of companies, announced a multiyear multimillion-dollar partnership renewal as the club’s official front of kit sponsor. Bimbo Bakeries USA and the Union first entered into an agreement in 2011, and the company, with its U.S. headquarters, in Horsham, PA, is one of the Union’s longest-tenured partners.

To mark the renewal, Thomas’® will be introduced on the upcoming 2023 secondary kit, and Bimbo Bakeries USA and the Union will relaunch the Philadelphia Union U-Serve platform, a first-of-its-kind fan-volunteer rewards program. In addition, the Bimbo® and Thomas’® brands will be featured on all jerseys across the organization, including the first team, Philadelphia Union II, and Philadelphia Union Academy, furthering the commitment to the player pathway.

Okay, whatever. Bimbo pays the Union millions of dollars and they’ve been a loyal, local, and solid partner for more than a decade. Part of me was hoping we’d get a different sponsor, just to break things up, since Bimbo has been on the jersey every single year since 2011, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

In recent years, they deviated from only having “Bimbo” branding on the shirts and started to mix it up a bit. They put “Artesano” on the alternate jerseys, and this year we’re getting “Thomas’on the secondary kit, so that at least provides some variety. Bimbo also owns brands like Entenmann’s and Sara Lee, so maybe on the third jersey we can use a picture of a fucking raspberry danish and call it a day.

Capitalism is fantastic in most cases, but not here. We turn elite professional athletes into walking billboards. Imagine you’re MLS Defender of the Year Jakob Glesnes, and you gotta run around wearing a shirt where the bagel brand logo is larger than the Philadelphia Union crest. It’s the dumbest thing in the world and it’s why I refuse to buy soccer jerseys. If I’m buying team apparel, it’s because I’m a fan of the team and not because I want to walk around advertising english muffins. Same thing with the Sixers and the patch. It’s all trash. It’s embarrassing. The only things that should be on a jersey are the player’s name, number, and some kind of team logo. Imagine if you bought a Donovan McNabb jersey and there was a huge bowl of Campbell’s Chunky Soup on the front. Would you walk around wearing that shit? Of course you wouldn’t. It defiles the sanctity of the uniform and cheapens the vibe.

Unfortunately, that’s just how it goes. Shirt sponsors pay big bucks, so it’s a necessary evil.