Bryan Altman, CBS Local Sports
Fans in favor of preserving the sanctity of your favorite team’s uniform be warned – the NBA has officially announced that teams can now sell advertisements on their jerseys beginning in the 2017-18 season.
The league made a formal announcement through a press release this afternoon and called the approval part of a “three-year pilot program.”
According to the press release, the area available to sponsors will be “on the front left of the game jerseys opposite the Nike logo. The release also stated that the patches “will measure approximately 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches and be adjusted to fit the dimensions of each sponsor’s logo,” so they won’t be taking over the entire jersey by any means.
Here’s what commissioner Adam Silver had to say about the move in the press release.
“Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams and the additional investment will help grow the game in exciting new ways,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “We’re always thinking about innovative ways the NBA can remain competitive in a global marketplace, and we are excited to see the results of this three-year trial.”
The release also noted that jerseys bought by consumers won’t have the sponsor logo on them but teams can opt to sell those in their own team and retail stores should they choose to do so.
From a financial perspective, the move makes plenty of sense for the NBA. According to Bleacher Report, the move is expected to bring in close to $150 million in extra revenue for the league, half of which would be kept by the teams and half put into a “revenue sharing pool.”
What will be interesting to see is whether other North American sports leagues follow suit in coming months. While sponsors on jerseys are already synonymous with soccer jerseys overseas, the NFL, NHL and MLB still haven’t made the move to allow sponsorships on their jerseys – outside of the actual jersey provider such as a Nike or Adidas or Reebok.
Reports state sponsors on jerseys in the NHL are now “inevitable” and you’d have to think the rest of the major sports leagues will be jumping on the additional revenue stream sooner rather than later.
Bryan Altman is, for some reason, an unabashed fan of the Rangers, Jets and Mets. If he absolutely had to pick a basketball team it would be the Knicks, but he’d gladly trade them for just one championship for any of his other three teams.