Yeah, I guess these jerseys will be a little heavier in the next couple of seasons.
Way back in March, BDL’s Kelly Dwyer wrote a post detailing the NBA’s interest in putting advertisements on their NBA jerseys. He spoke for all of us here in noting that the idea is crass and distasteful to anyone more focused on the sport of basketball itself than on the bottom lines of multinational conglomerates and their partners within the league.
Sadly, jersey sponsorships are very much a step in the continued businessification of the sports world, and the time to make a meaningful stand against the movement was probably 20 years ago when every arena in the world traded its municipal name for that of a corporation. Some battles are lost well before they begin.
It is now time to get even more used to the idea of ads on jerseys, because it could be only a season or two away. At a meeting of the NBA’s Board of Governors on Thursday, the owners discussed how best to implement these sponsorships. After the meeting, deputy commissioner Adam Silver gave a sense of their plans at a press conference.
NBA jerseys almost certainly will feature small sponsorship patches on the shoulder area in two years, a move that league officials estimate could generate $100 million in revenues per season.
“I think it’s fair to say that our teams were excited about the opportunity and think there is potentially a big opportunity in the marketplace to put a two by two patch on the shoulder of our jerseys,” Silver said.
Silver later corrected himself, saying the patches would be 2.5 inches-by-2.5 inches. They would feature the names of companies — think McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Kia, Apple — and would put the NBA in lock step with international sports leagues whose player uniforms routinely are adorned with ads. WNBA teams already have sponsorship logos on their jerseys, but the NBA would be the first of the four major American pro sports leagues to take the plunge.
“My sense is that every team is in favor of doing this in some form,” Silver said.
It is no great surprise that the same group of 30 men who started the lockout last summer — during which these potential jersey profits may or may not have figured into financial discussions — would be in favor of making at least eight figures from a small patch on jerseys. Their assumption, I’m sure, is that fans will eventually get used to it, just as they got used to stadium name changes and sponsored timeout entertainment and $14 beers. This particular march of progress started long ago, and it’s not going to abate unless every fan reads Marx and decides a bloody uprising is the best case scenario.
However, until the proles rise, we should probably at least hope for advertising that makes sense.
Which team will win the 2012-13 NBA Season? Bodog sportsbook has the odds.
Miami Heat 2.50
Oklahoma City Thunder 19.00
Boston Celtics 3.75
San Antonio Spurs 2.75Comments