The NBA announced that it will be joining other sports leagues – European soccer clubs and the WNBA immediately come to mind – in allowing advertising on jerseys.
Adam Silver has been openly discussing this possibility for awhile now. Here were his thoughts during a recent interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols on The Jump (transcribed by USA Today):
“So let’s begin by saying this isn’t going to affect the competition,” Silver told Nichols. “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.”
Teams can now start pitching companies on buying a 2.5-by-2.5-inch space as the NBA becomes the first of the four major U.S. sports leagues to put ads on regular game-day jerseys. NBA teams had been wearing advertising logos on practice jerseys.
The first season we’ll see ads will be in the 2017 – 2018 season. That’s the same year that Nike becomes the NBA’s official uniform sponsor again also.