Ads on game uniforms a crucial topic on Board of Governors’ agenda

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.

And:

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.

13 Comments

  1. tomverstreken says:

    the nbas appreciation for its fans eventually doenst go as long as its appreciation for more money… sad truth

  2. Scisca says:

    I hate ads on jerseys. Stopped buying them since Barcelona put an ad on their jersey. There was magic and eliteness to them before, something to brag about. Now, it’s just meh.

  3. Michael says:

    Well I can say if this goes through I won’t wear nore buy any nba jerseys… NBA please don’t do this to the fans the jerseys will look like a Nascar car and or walking billboards you can put up banners or signs to get the endorsements money don’t ruin this sport with such filth…. From Tmacftw1

  4. Tom says:

    I would never wear such a disgusting jersey with corporate ads on it..

    Look closely at an NBA game… There are ads EVERYWHERE! Towels, bottles players drink from, socks, shoes, wristbands, only NBA headbands, the chairs the players sit on in bench, sidelines.

    And for some of us that DO go to the games, you deal with ads on the big screen in between every break of action!!!

    Iconic Lakers jerseys… TARNISHED! Beautiful bostom Green jerseys…. Ugh!

    The amazing spurs uniforms….

    No one would ever buy any of the new jerseys with ads on them… But of course the NBA probably already accounted for that and realized that they would make more money advertising on jerseys despite the huge loss in jersey sales they’d sustain…

    Well I’ll tell you what, just like when the Lakers were taken off public television, and put onto Time Warner only, it no longer became the cities team… You used to go to the park and everyone would be talking about the game, young and old… Now it seems like only the rich folks who are willing to shell out a ridiculous amount of money just to watch the Lakers have to tell the rest of us about it.

    My point is, when I have a Lakers jersey on, it feels cool and it feels nice… With these ads, that feeling will be gone.

    Is it really worth it to sacrifice that? In my opinion it’s not.

  5. sports fan says:

    It doesn’t matter what the fans want, the NBA will eventually put ads on jerseys. It’s all business before anything else. Fans will hate it at first but after time it nobody will care anymore about the ads on the jerseys. Ads never stopped NASCAR fans & soccer fans from buying jerseys & merchandise. It’s inevitable.

  6. big rees says:

    Ya,it does look very tacky when u see the European leauge with signs and billboards every wear in the stadium. hope the NBA stays away from that.

  7. Skrutz says:

    It’s a business, but this is just greedy. Does it really make that big of a dent in their income? Does it weigh out evenly or better when jersey sales drop off? As fans, we can’t and won’t do anything, its up to them. As much as it sounds noble to say we would boycott or something – who are we kidding? We all forgot about the lockout. I know I’ll still be watching, even if my favourite team is the L.A. Fig Newtons.

  8. Birdsmoke says:

    I’d hate to see this happen – especially on iconic uniforms like the Celtics. I’ve always thought advertising looked bad on soccer uniforms and NASCAR cars too. It’s very tacky, and inconsiderate of what most fans want.

  9. dan says:

    this is just the direction of america.. ruled by corporate greed and no regard for anything else

  10. bdodell2 says:

    This is such a tacky move. There’s no reason to do it but greed. I love the NBA, but a move like this would probably make me more interested in college ball.

  11. Max Trueblood says:

    I really hope they don’t do this. Aren’t their any compromises out there? How about ads on the court. I have no problem is some corporation wants to slap their logo at half court or something. I’d rather they not do that either but it beats ads on jerseys.

    One of the great things about tv money is that you don’t have to resort to sellout options like this. At what point you have to ask, how much is enough $$$?

    The counter point is that the league should never turn down revenue but again, you have to ask when is enough? Hypothetically speaking, if the cartels were to offer a sponsorship agreement, the league would naturally turn it down. Now I realize that you can’t compare the cartels to ads on jerseys but it is an example of where the league would draw the line so you have to wonder where that line is drawn. Is there room for comparison?

    If worst come to worst and they go with it, I really hope that limit it to the 2.5 x 2 patches. I hope it doesn’t branch out to what we see in the WNBA or Europe.

  12. lordp says:

    It is to consider the drop off Nba jerseys sales in that case!!

    • sanjay says:

      drop in NBA jersey sales will be compensated by the 3-5 million per 2.5 inch the nba will receive for these ads. it just goes to show you that it’s all business…..