The NBA has long been considerered to be the North American sports league that would be the first to put adverstisement logos on their uniforms. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has told us before that it’s “inevitable” that NBA jerseys will have ads on them, and although that may still be true, the league may have hit a snag in their effors to turn this inevitability into a reality.
According to a report from The Score, the NBA’s biggest obstacles to putting ads on jerseys right now have to do with revenue sharing. Basically, certain teams may make more money with better visibility than other teams with less visibility, and the NBA is all about parity in that regard, and that’s causing problems when it comes to the logistics of this whole thing.
Here’s a bit from The Score’s report on the matter:
“Part of the reason we haven’t moved forward is complications over our revenue sharing system,” Silver said. “If certain markets did exponentially better than other markets … it would be a net reduction in revenue for other clubs. At the end of the day most importantly, we’re trying to create parity in this league.”
Almost one year ago, Silver called ads on NBA game jerseys “inevitable.” There is the reality however that certain big-ticket advertisers would prefer sponsoring teams with higher visibility.
“There are a group of teams that feel they will somehow be left behind,” the commissioner said. “Presumably some of the larger markets will be much more successful in selling, we’re calling it a ‘patch’ – a logo on a jersey, not the full-out control of the jersey that you see in European soccer.”
Aside from the obvious positive of this move being delayed, there’s also the minor positive that the league is still sticking with the idea of keeping the ads strictly on small patches. The 2016 NBA All-Star Game uniforms and the patches that you saw players wear during last year’s All-Star festivities are probably as close as we’ll get to seeing the league do a “trial run” for this thing.
So, the patches would be making the best of a bad situation. I’d prefer not to see them at all, but if we have to see them, then this isn’t the worst way to go about doing it. Plus, the news about the delay is nice, so there’s that.