The partnership will pay the Yankees about $10 million, Sportico first reported the deal Tuesday. TikTok, the YES Network and the Yankees confirmed it Wednesday.
The team will reportedly get team-branded content on TikTok while the company will receive signs in Yankee Stadium advertising the company. However, fans will have to catch a glimpse of the branding on TV since fans will not be allowed inside the stadium for quite some time because of the coronavirus.
The deal could allow the Yankees to appeal to a younger demographic – something that baseball as a sport has struggled to do over the last few years.
"We are excited to launch this innovative partnership with TikTok," Michael J. Tusiani, Yankees Senior Vice President, Partnerships, said in a news release. “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.”
TikTok's Global Strategic Partnerships & Corporate Development Harish Sherma added: "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."
The partnership comes as TikTok is in the middle of political football between the Trump administration and the app’s China-based parent company ByteDance. The president and U.S. officials argue that the Chinese government has the capacity to spy on U.S. TikTok users under China's 2017 National Intelligence Law, which says individuals and companies must comply with information requests from the Chinese Communist Party.
TikTok maintains that it does not share any user information with the Chinese government. The company has also been stepping up its U.S. workforce presence and has entertained the prospect of selling its U.S. operations to an American company like Microsoft, as FOX Business first reported.
The U.S. has been cracking down on Chinese tech companies and their employees as tensions rise between the two countries amid coronavirus and after the Trump administration ordered the closure of China's consulate in Houston on accusations of espionage.
American tech giants including Facebook, Twitter and Google, as well as U.S. news publications such as The New York Times and Washington Post, have been banned in China for years.
Fox Business’ Audrey Conklin contributed to this report.