NBA owners will vote this week on a measure that will allow ads to be worn on team jerseys, and that measure is expected to pass, according to Brian Windhorst and Darren Rovell of ESPN.
The ads would be in the form of a small 2.5 x 2.5 inch patch on the jerseys’ left shoulder, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver discussed the idea in greater detail with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in a TV appearance last month.
“It’s manifest destiny,” Silver said in the interview. “So let’s begin by saying this isn’t going to affect the competition. What we’re talking about is a patch on the jersey. And one of the reasons we want to do it is that it creates an additional investment in those companies in the league … the amplification we get from those sponsors, those marketing partners of the league, who want to attach to our teams and our players. But once they put their name on the jerseys, they’ll then use their media to promote the NBA extensively. That’s probably the greatest reason for us to do it.”
In other words, it’s all about generating more league revenue. To which I say, isn’t there enough already? The NBA just signed a multibillion dollar TV deal with ESPN and Turner Sports, one that is set to make the salary cap skyrocket, and teams already get a number of sponsorships from local businesses or even bigger ones. To give an example, the Memphis Grizzlies play at FedEx Forum while the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers play at the Staples Center. Long story short, the money train is rolling merrily along.
That said, having an ad on an NBA jersey just takes away from the beauty of the garment itself. NBA jerseys look great on their own and by allowing ads to be placed on them, it just looks like the already filthy-rich owners are looking to deepen their pockets in light of the fact that player salaries could soon skyrocket.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports