NBA uniform ads in the form of 2 x 2 patches on players' jerseys became a real possibility Thursday, when NBA Commissioner David Stern told the media that he had discussed the issue with the Board of Governors. Fans, though, are generally displeased with the idea.
NBA uniform ads could add a possible $100 million in revenue to the league based on projections from other sports' leagues that participate, like Major League Soccer, the WNBA, and European soccer teams. However, the major advertising move would not be implemented until the 2013-2014 because of the timing of the idea.
"The view is, that the teams would need a significant time; one, to sell the patch; and number two, for Adidas to manufacture the uniforms, because the patch that would be on the players' uniforms would also appear on the jerseys at retail," Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver told the Associated Press.
While the proposal was discussed at the annual summer meeting of the Board of Governors, it isn't a certainty just yet. A final vote will be taken in September, and if successful, the NBA will be the biggest professional league in the U.S. to have advertising on uniforms.
The $100 million could be a boost, especially for teams in smaller venues with less profit potential. Fans, though, have lambasted Stern and the NBA for considering the patches, making the move an unpopular one.
"I see jersey sales plummeting when this goes into effect. None of the fans want a stupid mcdonald's logo on their jersey," wrote Censored by Mods on the ESPN.com blog.
"Selling ads on jerseys could potentially backfire. If a team sells ads to a company that ends up in trouble it would look bad for the team," explained A Time to Chill. "In Houston, we have Minute Maid Park which was formerly known as Enron Field. … Owners shouldn't be so greedy and potentially associate their team's brand with a company that could be unethical."
"I cannot be more displeased with the direction of the NBA at this point," agreed jmezinator24.
Their opinion may not mean much to Stern, the Board of Governors, or the owners of the NBA's teams. After a summer league, which got a fair amount of press this year, and playoffs, which were very highly rated, the league seems to be heading in a positive direction for executives, at least.
"We had a happy group of owners," Stern said. "Our ratings are up 28 percent over the last decade, while television ratings are down around 30 percent the last decade. We are going to have our best year ever, both in gate and sponsorship this coming year."