For a while now, many have speculated that one of the reasons behind the advent of sleeved jerseys in basketball was not just the fact that more people would buy a sleeved jersey over a traditional jersey. There was also the fact that the sleeves would also mean that there’s more room for the introduction of advertisements onto jerseys. While most just chalked those rumors up to cynics being cynics, we now have concrete evidence that ads may be on the way to NBA jerseys.
Indeed, at a conference at the IMG World Congress of Sports earlier this week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated that placement of ads on jerseys would be “inevitable.” From the Commissioner himself:
“It just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get that much closer to our fans and to our players,” Silver said at the conference, put on by the Sports Business Daily/Journal. “It gives us an opportunity just to have deeper integration when it comes to those forms of sponsorship.”
There is word that the ads may be coming to the jerseys as early as within the next 5 years. Although the WNBA’s look is obviously what people would use as an example for what the NBA could possibly look like soon, Darren Rovell reports in the above article that the idea is for there to just be a single 2 ½ inch x 2 ½ inch patch on every jersey. So it’d probably look similar to what you see on some NFL practice jerseys, but it’s not like we’d see “LAKERS” replaced with “STAPLES.” Still, it’s pretty obvious that if sleeved jerseys weren’t already a clear cash grab, putting ads on jerseys would be the biggest cash grab of all.
What do you think? Are you fine with the ads hitting the jerseys? Or do you think that they should keep them off of the jerseys?