Nike is ‘close’ to reaching apparel deal with NBA; Could lead to ads/logos on jerseys

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With adidas bowing out from being the NBA’s premier apparel supplier, the door has opened for other manufacturers to step in and take over the rights to make jerseys and other related gear for NBA teams. Now, it appears that the company who will be replacing adidas will be Nike, as Sports Illustrated is reporting that Nike is “close” to reaching a deal with the NBA.

The report says Nike and the NBA have completed the ‘framework’ of an agreement that will be presented to ownership and the league’s Board of Governors today and tomorrow. Multiple sources told Sports Business Daily that Nike and the league are still ‘some distance’ from finalizing a signed deal, with plenty of details still to iron out.

According to the report, Nike’s central competitor is Under Armour, but the league greatly values the overseas reach and distribution and marketing capabilities of the former, with globally-popular players like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant on its roster of sponsored athletes.

If you’re a fan of what Nike’s been doing with the NFL, then this should definitely be good news for you. However, there’s always a bit of good news-bad news when it comes to things like this, and the bad news is that Nike’s time with the NBA could also issue in the “inevitable” era of ads on jerseys.

Speculation is that the new uniforms will likely include third-party ads, which NBA commissioner Adam Silver has called “inevitable.” Sources told Sports Business Daily that Nike’s deal will allow the company to place manufacturer logos, i.e. the swoosh and Jordan Brand’s Jumpman, on uniforms for the first time, although those details have not been finalized. At present, Adidas’ logo appears on team warmups and fan gear, but not game uniforms.

So, even if we somehow avoid ads being placed on NBA jerseys, we’ll still be seeing the Swoosh logo on game uniforms once Nike takes over. Either way, the era of NBA game jerseys being free of advertisements appears to be coming to an end soon.

What do you guys think? Glad that Nike’s going to be taking over? Do you think Under Armour’s going to swoop in with an offer that the NBA can’t refuse? Are you hoping that either manufacturer just puts the sleeved jerseys to rest?