While fans of sports like soccer, golf, tennis and NASCAR are used to the sight of corporate logos on competitors’ uniforms, the major professional team sports in the U.S. — baseball, football, hockey, and basketball — have generally resisted allowing sponsors to slap their brand on a players’ uniform. But that could all change with a decision announced last night by the NBA.
Fresh off a lockout-shortened season, NBA Commissioner David Stern says that the league’s Board of Governors has voted to allow teams to find sponsors to pay for small ad space on the front of players’ jerseys.
The spot will be small (at least to begin with) at only 2.5″ x 2.5″, but it will receive a prime placement just above a player’s heart.
So it’s not the huge logos that you see on soccer jerseys, but it will be in a position that means TV cameras will catch the logo during a good portion of a game’s playing time.
The NBA believes this could generate around $100 million annually for the league. And you can imagine that, if it’s successful, there will be discussions about larger and more ads on jerseys. This conversation will inevitably cross over into the other pro sports where the only logos you currently see are for the companies that make the uniforms and equipment.
Sadly, we have no reason to believe that any influx of revenue will do anything to keep tickets affordable.
We’re thinking about breaking open the Consumerist piggy bank so we could sponsor a team, but we’re probably a few pennies short.