Are you ready for NBA to become NASCAR? Ads on jerseys is nearing approval

Written By:  •  Friday, July 20, 2012

NBA uniform logos uni jersey ads


Ready or not, here they come. The NBA Board of Governors had discussions that were described as “mostly positive” about allowing sponsorship on game jerseys for the 2013-2014 season.

No vote took place, so nothing is official or final, but as Scott Howard-Cooper posted on the NBA blog, the Governors “showed a strong preference to move forward.”

While we had a little bit of fun with the photoshop above, the terms seem to dictate a patch of 2 ½ inches-by-2 ½  on the chest, similar to the placement of the NBA Finals patch seen above on LeBron, and the Starbucks logo mocked up on Durant.

Even though this is a small patch with tasteful placement, it is in fact a big deal, as its the first of the “Big Four” in the US to potentially allow ads on their game jerseys. The MLB experimented with ads while playing in Japan, but have remained unsullied here in the states.

What do you think? Is this a slippery slope to having the Seattle Starbucks playing the Atlanta Home Depots? Or is this just opening up advertising spots currently reserved for the likes of Nike, Adidas, Majestic, et al?

Article Categories:

Share This Article

Related News

About Author

JR Francis

JR Francis is an actor, writer, director, graphic designer, UX guru, father, comedian, and craft beer snob. You can reach him at or on Twitter @JRFrancisSLN*One of several full-time uniform reporters this site has including its founder, Chris Creamer, who started his site in 1997

  • D.C. Swinton

    What a TERRIBLE idea! Ads are left in the commercials and throughout the arenas, and even on the digital boards where the sportscasters are. Leave them there. The NBA would be beyond foolish if it let this happen.

    • MetalControl01

      But when has the NBA ever been smart?

  • yh

    That LeBron jersey isn’t accurate. He’s not sponsored by Kotex; he’s sponsored by Summer’s Eve and Massengill.

  • Jimmy

    I’m done with the NBA from this forward, I been prepared for this for years, first heard about the potential in 2005. The uniform is sacred, this is selling out at the highest form. I hope there is an uproar over this, like there was in 2004 I believe when baseball was gonna place Spider Man the movie logos on the bases.

  • Neonix

    sad, sad day for professional sports (fans) in North America… It’ll only be a question of time before the same happens in the NHL, MLS and NFL…

    • Jorge

      MLS already has it.

      • Michael

        I think the WNBA has something like this, too.

  • Neonix

    I meant MLB** of course

  • Robert Kuhl

    Ironic that you added the Starbucks logo to the Thunder jersey… I see what you did there.

  • Aaron

    I think it’s silly to put ads on any jersey in any league. You already see the AHL do this. The way they do it is overkill. But if it’s a small sponsorship ad, I don’t think it would be that big of a deal. Like a little Nike swoosh or Rbk or even Adidas.

    • Alex

      Because it won’t stop there. It never does. “If it’s one small patch, what’s the big deal?” So people get used to it, and then the leagues say, “If one’s okay, why not two?” And instead of a small 2″ patch, it becomes a 7″ billboard. The point of selling ad space is to make cash, and the more ad space one can sell, the more cash one gets. Simple.

  • I don’t think it’s a huge deal. Leagues everywhere in the world already do this, even here in North America with MLS. As long as players don’t end up looking like NASCAR drivers like in the Mexican soccer league then it’s barely an issue. Many socer fans even take some pride in their sponsor.

  • TrueYankee26

    I bet there’s going to be a RocaWear logo on the Brooklyn Nets jerseys.. Jay-Z is part owner so it makes sense. 😀

  • John Majka

    Blame that one person in the history of MLS uniforms (featuring dominating sponsorships) who actually made a purchase based on that jersey/shirt?

  • Ben

    to me this issue is one of identity. american sports fans take pride in the fact that their team uniforms are not corporate logos. part of american sports identity is based on the sanctity of the uniform and team, not the sponsors. this is why international basketball, hockey and baseball (i don’t know about football) uniforms look so silly to us but soccer billboards (or jerseys, if you wish) look normal. by selling ads, they are selling the teams’ identity and our identity as american sports fans. what a shame

  • stets5150

    no, no, no, no!! it’s bad enough having to see someones crappy patch on a NFL team’s practice jersey everyday this time of year. if they do accept this, then it better remain a little 2×2 patch and not go the way of MLS and WNBA. the first time i saw a highlight of that little priss beckham when he crossed the pond to play in L.A., i thought the team was the L.A. Herbalife. same for wnba. the minnesota boost mobile vs the L.A. farmer’s ins. keep it as a patch if they do decide it, and keep it as only one sponsor, not multiple. if not, then keep it out of sports since corporations are taking stadium and arena names. gone are the days of knowing exactly what city a stadium or arena is in just by hearing it’s name. now it’s Corporation A stadium and 3 years later it’s Company B park. if corporations wanna be sponsors so bad, then sponsor more important things in life like charities and cancer research. NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL don’t need sponsors to make money. they make enough from the fans by having 25 different jerseys in one season(exaggeration i know, just making a point) for fans to spend their hard earned money on.

    ONE MORE POINT TO THIS: I can see this being an epic fail once a team has a sponsor patch on their jerseys, and their arena has the name of the sponsors competition. I can just see it now. the Grizzlies who play at the FedEx forum having a UPS patch. The Timberwolves who have the Target center having a WalMart patch. There is some owner out there who would be stupid enough for that to happen. Maybe not in the NBA, but in another league or sport who has company logos on their uniforms.

    • Aaron

      Okay, if they keep the ads to a miniature patch and they’re in a small corner where it’s barely noticeable, it wouldn’t be so bad. Because from a distance you can barely even see the NBA logo anyways.

  • Mark

    It’s horrible. It’s all about dough. Why not just pay players a little bit less? Someday there will be a huge Wendy’s logo at the 50-yard line of the Super Bowl, and instead of the National Anthem, they’ll have that idiot walk out and say “now that’s better.” This is horrible.

  • BL.

    I absolutely hate this idea. Small market teams really would benefit from this, I am sure. But teams in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago for example really don’t need this. If the NBA does do this, I hope it is up to each team and not mandatory.

  • dan shook

    money rules….it’s ruining all sports..

    • EK

      I hate to break it to ya, but money rules everything. It’s called capitalism for a reason.

  • EK

    I don’t get America’s problem with ads on jerseys. I mean come on, most league’s in all sports have ads. It’s no big deal. Plus it brings in massive amounts of revenue for both the sponsor and the team. What is so wrong about putting an ad on a jersey?! It’s bad to put it there, but it’s ok to emblazon everything else with ads?

    • Jimmy

      And how does this improve my expierence as a fan? It doesn’t, it cheapens it, the uniform is sacred. I like looking back at photos of Isiah Thomas, Joe Dumars, Chauncey Billups in the classic red, white and blue Piston uniform. So 40 years from now, I can look back and see Andre Drummond with Red Bull logo on his Pistons jersey? Its tacky, and trust me, this would be just the beginning, once the door is open, expect bigger ads to be placed on jersey. Fans need to stand up, I have already said any sport that places ads on jerseys that I am done with, and I mean that. I’m in such a bad mood over this, that its ruin my viewing of baseball tonight, my Tigers won are a 1/2 game out of first, all I can think about is, what if baseball is next, it would be such a disgrace.

  • Mitchell

    The only reason MLS does it is because soccer matches go entire halves without commercial breaks. They have to make revenue somewhere. It doesn’t make sense for any of the four major U.S. sports leagues to add advertisements to jerseys when they make money from commercial breaks. I don’t think the NFL will encounter this problem seeing that it cost millions for a commercial spot in the Super Bowl.

  • ingmar66

    The NBA, MLB, the NFL and the NHL should never ever go there. As a soccer fan I am so sad and disappointed about all kinds of sponsors ruining our traditional club jerseys since the late 70’s. It cheapens the entire game, no matter what marketing gurus will tell us. Look at the WNBA jerseys and tell me it is not some kind of small town industrial league but the best competiton in women’s basketball in the world. Hard to believe, judging from their uniforms.

  • Rob

    I would never buy a jersey with Sponsor patches/logos.I would write off the NBA once and for all,(not that hard to do).One of my biggest gripes about Soccer are the horrible uniforms. To me the MLS having sponsors is not a big deal because I pay 0% attention to MLS. The old NASL had some cool jersey’s though.

  • Variam

    well if the patches are small like the starbucks one. i personnaly dont mind it but if it goes to a nascar type level where it is decked out in ads then i think that the fans are gonna be upset. i mean who wants to buy a jersey with a bunch of ads on it. even though it would bring in a lot of money for the league, for the fans it is a very disappointing

    but as long as you can buy them without ads, ill buy any jersey any day

  • Jonathan

    It’s a bad bad bad idea!!! It’s gonna ruin the beauty of jerseys and the visual identity of teams. They do this here in Europe and that’s terrible! Baddest idea ever! Just in order to make more money… It’s a little bit sad!

  • Brent

    People at the Staples Center don’t want to watch the Boston “Aquafina’s” vs. the Los Angeles “T-Mobile’s”. Sitting at the Staples Center, all I would be thinking about is “Crap, I need to pay my cellphone bill by next Friday.” Its bad enough it seems like every post season award is presented by Kia. If I were an NBA owner, I would want people to identify my franchise, not some company logo you’re going to see during the commercials. It ruins the identity of the team. All logos would be obsolite & should just be changed to a basketball with the team colors & script font over the top of it. If you allow Starbucks on the left shoulder, next thing you know, Toyota ends up on the right shoulder, Best Buy is on the neck, Gatorade is beneath the numbers, & T-Mobile replaces Lakers. Then they’re going to add a “How’s my driving?” Ad across the butt with a yellow smiley face by the butthole.

  • Nick

    I dont care abot the starbucks patch or Virgin airlines patch. I think if every team had one official sponser instead of one for every possible thing you could think of. But big ads on jerseys can’t happen, The Heat, Blazers, and Magic with modern unis would look bad with big ads on the front but not as bad as teams with classic unis like the celtics and lakers. I wouldn’t be able to look at those without vomiting. It is destroying tradition and what about throwbacks will those have ads too. Its terrible whats happining

  • Douglas

    All this is missing ESPN’s “Pete Twinkle and Greg Stink.”

    Twinkle: “Miami Heat Basketball is sponsored by Stay-Free MaxiPads. If you need a hatch for your baby hatch……Stay-free Maxipads.”

  • Nomena

    Personnaly, i’m get tired of countless commercial breakd in NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB.

    Most of the reactions blame European and football (soccer) as responsible of this project.
    Please, dont hate soccer. Its fans enjoy 100% non-stop action, no time-out, no commercial breaks.. That is part of the beauty of the game too. Ads on jersey is more acceptable if you dont have time-out every time.

    But football can have a good influence on american sport. If the NBA move forward, north american fans may ask less interference of their sport on TV.

    If you do not allow corporation to put logo, they may go overseas and millions of dollars are gone outside the north american economy. Think again.

  • Hey there, You’ve done a great job. I’ll certainly digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this web site.