You see them slapped everywhere in sports, even on the jerseys during the World Cup, the most popular sporting event across the globe. With the exception of the WNBA and the MLS, advertisements have stayed off of American pro sports jerseys but a change could be coming. John Lombardo and Terry Lefton with The Sports Business Journal report that the use of advertisements on NBA uniforms will at the very least be discussed at the NBA’s Board of Governors meeting next month.
The use of ads on jerseys has been something NBA Commissioner David Stern has traditionally been cold to luke warm on. In fact, the NBA is the only American professional sports franchise that doesn’t even feature the uniform manufacturer’s logo on it. One of the main questions is could a league go from no outside logos on their uniforms to having a gigantic Visa logo smacked right in the middle of where a Magic or Heat logo is now.
“The most appropriate question and the answer we’re all waiting for is, ‘What is it worth?’” said Golden State Warriors president and COO Rick Welts, who did the WNBA’s first uniform advertising deal between the Phoenix Mercury and LifeLock in 2009. “I am not suggesting this is an easy issue, but I feel like it is inevitable. We just have to agree on value and what it would look like.”
Lombardo and Lefton also write that a study released last year by Horizon Media calculated that a brand logo across the middle of an NBA team’s jersey occupying 3.5 percent of the TV screen would produce $31.18 million in exposure value and that doesn’t include highlights that run on ESPN, NBA TV and other national, regional and local sports shows.
Maybe it’s because I’m not a huge soccer fan, but I hope that teams at decide against replacing their team logos with giant commercial one on the front of their jerseys. It’d be incredibly weird to see the Nike swoosh where the words “Portland” or “Blazers” should be. Would I ever notice the team logo underneath the NBA logo on the shoulder of the jersey? I’d get used to it eventually and Lombardo and Lefton are right, Adidas has a lot of experience internationally designing uniforms that use corporate sponsorships, but there’s something inherently clean about the NBA jersey that I like. One team logo and a small NBA insignia over the left shoulder. Maybe that’s where they could add the individual corporate logos, underneath the NBA logo.
However, if this does happen next season, I motion Twitter get the “Fail Whale” logo on whatever team JaVale McGee is playing for.