If the Minnesota Twins keep this up, they might have to change their team color to purple.
The team announced on Monday a deal to sell Prince-related merchandise year-round, including hats, shirts and balls, plus they’re bringing back Prince Night for a second year. The co-branding deal is believed to be the first of its kind in Major League Baseball. The new items will be for sale exclusively at Target Field beginning with the home opener April 5 against the Seattle Mariners.
Then, on June 8, the Twins will play host to the second annual Prince Night at Target Field in a game against the Los Angeles Angels. Additional Twins-Prince merchandise will go on sale that night, which will also include a giveaway.
The first 10,000 fans through the gates will receive inflatable Prince guitars — the purple one in the shape of his symbol. After the seventh inning stretch, those with the guitars will be asked to remain standing and illuminate them for a special remembrance, the Twins said.
Fans who purchase a Prince Theme Night package will get a purple Prince-Twins baseball cap. The packages range from $26 for a spot in the home run porch to $81 for a home plate mid-level box seat. (Prices don’t include fees.)
“Along with our fans, we look forward to celebrating the legacy of a man who brought an international spotlight to our great city,” team CEO Dave St. Peter said.
The Twins’ retail provider, Delaware North Sportservice, struck a deal with a company called Bravado, which was hired in 2017 by the Prince estate to handle his merchandising and branding. Team representatives said Prince’s family approved of the deal.
Sports teams have landed licensing deals for merchandise around special events, such as Pearl Jam T-shirts for when the band played a two-nighter at Wrigley Field in 2013. However, Twins representatives did not know of any similar arrangement for selling merchandise on this scale year-round.
Bravado, which also oversees merchandise licensing for the Beatles, Bob Marley and many other music legends, is a subsidiary of the Universal Music Group, the industry giant that also had a hand in issuing some of Prince’s albums in the ’90s and 2000s and was in the lead among companies vying to handle the singer’s voluminous vault of unissued recordings.
Last season’s Prince Night giveaway was a hit with fans, who swarmed the game for one of the 10,000 umbrellas. Some of those umbrellas are listed on eBay for more than $100.
Prince was known to regularly cheer on the Vikings and Timberwolves, and he played host to a private concert for the Lynx months before his death, but he was not often seen at Twins games.