NEW YORK – The city that’s home to some of the priciest rental properties in the world has been the site this week for some NBA discussions on square-footage rates that dwarf even the most tony Park Avenue addresses.
How does $3 million to $5 million for 2.5 square inches sound?
The league’s Board of Governors reportedly was talking about the use of adverstisers’ logos on game jerseys at its annual October meeting. The topic dates back several years, with the NBA studying the economics of such a move as far back as 2012.
That’s when Kiki Vandeweghe – now the NBA’s executive vice-president of basketball operations, then working under president Rod Thorn – penned a piece for the Wall Street Journal noting that advertising is common internationally on soccer jerseys and, of course, on NASCAR cars and fire suits. The WNBA has featured ads and logos on uniform tops for years.
Details – sizes, prices, navigating conflicts with other corporate partnerships and more – were just starting to be explored when Vandeweghe wrote in his defense of the strategy:
It’s time Jerry West, the Hall of Famer widely regarded as the inspiration of the NBA’s logo, got some company on league jerseys. And it’s time for fans to recognize that, no matter how much they view their favorite teams as public trusts, those teams are businesses first.
Besides, the quality of the game on the court wouldn’t change one iota. Would the uniform look better without it? Slightly. But the NBA hasn’t grown to a global icon by ignoring revenue possibilities.
That last thought might figure into questions NBA commissioner Adam Silver is expected to field at the conclusion of the Board’s meetings Friday on daily fantasy Web sites. Silver recently spoke with ESPN.com about the league’s equity stake in FanDuel, with the commissioner saying he still sees such gaming sites as a legitimate and lucrative revenue stream and supports federal regulation of the industry.
The owners also were expected to hear reports from the financial and competition committees, along with reviewing the recent collective-bargaining agreement with the NBA’s referees.