The inevitable day that we’ve been warning you about for years now has finally come. Today, the NBA officially announced that, starting in the 2017-18 season, teams will be allowed to sell advertising space on their jerseys in the form of a small patch.
Here’s the official statement from the NBA on the matter:
One of the most interesting things about this (other than the big news about the ads) is the fact that once Nike takes over for the 2017-18 season, the Nike Swoosh logo will be on the jersey. That will also be a first, since apparel logos currently only show up on retail jerseys but not on the actual game jerseys. That will change once Nike takes over, and I guess the reasoning behind this is that “Well, if we’ve already got ads on the jerseys, who’s going to care about a Swoosh?”
This is being done on a “three-year trial,” but there’s no reason to think that this won’t end up becoming a permanent fixture on NBA uniforms, and it’ll probably get expanded as time passes — both on basketball uniforms and in other sports as well, since we’ll probably see other leagues follow suit if this is a success. But for now, the NBA was always predicted to be the first of the major North American sports leagues to go down this path, and now they’ve officially done it.
The casual fan probably won’t care too much about this in the long run, but for logo/uniform aficionados, this marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one that’s filled with corporate sponsorship. It’s officially time to get used to it.