One Step Closer: Ads Coming to NBA All-Star Jerseys

nba allstar

The Adpocolypse draws nigh.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal this week, the National Basketball Association will dip their toe in the jersey ad pool a little deeper this February courtesy a patch on their All-Star Game jerseys.

No, not just during the Saturday Night events, such as the Slam Dunk Contest, as they’ve done for the past several seasons, they’ll be worn during the big game itself… and be included on the retail version of the jerseys too. Can’t wait!

Sprite logo on NBA team  jerseys during Slam Dunk contest
Sprite logo on NBA team jerseys during Slam Dunk contest

The report states:

The National Basketball Association is planning to put a​ sponsored​ 3.25-inch-by-1.6-inch​ patch​ with a Kia Motors Corp. logo on the upper left chest of player jerseys for both the 2016 and 2017 All-Star games, according to the league. ​ The patch, part of an advertising buy between media rights holder Turner Sports and sponsor Kia Motors America, will also appear on All-Star jerseys available for retail sale. The companies declined to disclose financial terms.

Right were the NBA logo used to be, yeah, we all knew what its removal was making room for. You’ll also note that this deal will carryover into 2017 as well.

So it’s going to happen, like we all knew it would. The NBA is the first domino of the “big four” to fall, like we all knew they would be. The NHL has made it clear they wouldn’t be the first to do it, this opens the door for them now too.

And hey, can we all stop pretending this is the first time this has *ever* happened, as the WSJ and basically every other news report is saying in this story:

It will mark the first time that one of the four major American professional sports will display ​a​ non-apparel logo on jerseys during a game.

Yeah, no.

First this isn’t even a real game, but most importantly Major League Baseball has done this several times over the past 15 years… even the New York frikkin’ Yankees have worn a sponsor logo on their jerseys during a regular season game, on the pinstripes no less!

The New York Yankees wearing a "Ricoh" sponsor patch during a regular season game in 2004
The New York Yankees wearing a “Ricoh” sponsor patch during a regular season game in 2004

I think I’d be a lot more upset about this if uniforms weren’t already pretty much destroyed by the nonsense in the NCAA now making its way across the other leagues (see: NFL’s possibly awesome “color rush”, NHL’s dumb-for-the-sake-of-dumb “Stadium Series” uniforms, MLB’s pandering “Memorial Day/4th of July” set, and the NBA’s “what the heck, let’s just give every team 6 different uniforms but not let anyone change their primary logo because we need stability across our brand”). Like, obviously I’d rather this not happen, but clearly these uniforms are *nothing more* than giant money bags to the leagues now. So, whatever.


(no that’s not the 2016 NBA All-Star Game jersey at the top of the post, just a mockup to show the Kia logo on a jersey)