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Mark Cuban: Still a fan of putting ads on NBA Jerseys

Mar 28, 2012, 1:35 PM EDT

WNBA Sue Bird Ad jersey

I hate to tell you this, but it’s going to happen someday — there will be corporate advertising on NBA jerseys.

How soon may be decided when the Board of Governors (read: the owners) meet next month to discuss league business. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been pushing for the idea for a while and restated that to the Star-Telegram (hat tip to SLAM).

“I’ve been trying to tell [the NBA],” Cuban said. “If someone wants to give us $10 million, I’ll make it happen….

“If the amount’s enough, David (Stern) will jump up and down,” Cuban said. “He’s not going to do it for $200,000 from Power Balance, but if somebody offers us $25 million, it’s done. We just have to work out the split with all the teams so everybody gets the benefits.”

The first foray into this will not be some European soccer type move where the company name replaces the team name (something also done in the WNBA). More than likely it would be something like Adidas (who already makes the NBA jerseys) getting to place its logo prominently on the jerseys. Or maybe something like McDonald’s “golden arches” on all the uniforms up near the shoulder. Something that you notice but is more subtle as opposed to something garish.

How much that is worth, and are there companies willing to pay it, are the real questions. I know the idea offends some American sports fans, but that doesn’t matter. The day is coming, sooner or later.

  1. bearsstillsuck - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    The nba is a joke nowadays.

  2. southpaw77 - Mar 28, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    1. What fan is gonna buy a replica jersey if it says Yoplait, AJAX, or General Mills on it. We’re fans of our teams not these corporations.

    2. Is this gonna be like NASCAR? Stupid corporate names everywhere from jerseys, warmups, arenas, etc?

    3. You guys already sold out with these arena names. No longer do we have cool names like the Summit, Salt Palace, Mecca, Spectrum, or Great Western Forum. Now we have arenas named after airlines and other nonsense.

    • dan - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:09 PM

      I don’t love it, but you’re wrong if you think it means that people won’t buy those jerseys anymore. Or have you never seen anyone wearing a Man U or Barcelona jersey?

      (Also, as ezmagic pointed out, the “Great Western Forum” was one of the first examples of a team selling naming rights…)

      • thetruth113 - Mar 28, 2012 at 7:10 PM

        American sports fans have almost nothing in common with European soccer fans. Do we turn cities into war zones when teams win or lose? Do fans die in stadium riots? Do we have to have separate team cheering sections? Look at what happened when baseball tried to put advertising on the bases for the Spider-Man movie a few years ago, it lasted all of a game or two after monumental outrage. American fans will not tolerate this, period. Our sports are not circus acts like NASCAR(sorry Javale and Andray). They represent something greater than just entertainment. We will not allow this to mucked up by some corporate logo draped across the front of a jersey.

        Also, bad example of Barcelona. They only put charities on their jersey, which is a bit more palatable

      • y2jheard - Mar 29, 2012 at 3:45 PM

        Most the people wearing those jerseys probably dont know a thing about American sports

  3. zer0sand0nes - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Echoing the exact sentiments of southpaw77.

  4. ezmagic - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    “Great western” was a bank name lol. I do miss the “O-rena” original orlando magic arena. I think it’s a great idea as long as it helps ticket prices go down. I’m not saying make it like NASCAR but 2-3 ads per jersey should work. McD’s and coke will probably jump on this idea.

    • bushido49ers - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      You’re right of course about Great Western. But I’m sure you understand his point. 😀

    • rooney24 - Mar 28, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      But, it won’t lower ticket prices. You’re crazy if you think the owners would do anything other than keep this money for themselves. Since when have owners of any pro team given a crap about fans? They know that there are enough suckers that will still want to see games in person, so they can keep gouging fans.

  5. bushido49ers - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    NO! This is not f*cking NASCAR! Bearsstillsuck is right! The NBA is a joke!

  6. mnsadsportsfan - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    hey idiots they do this in every other country who cares go eat ur freedom fries

    • granadafan - Mar 28, 2012 at 5:51 PM

      Just because they sold out in other countries, doesn’t make it right.

  7. rob0527 - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    I agree with southpaw, if this happens the NASCAR jersey is soon to come. If we could get 25 mil for right shoulder, then we could get 25 mil for left shoulder and then rear of jerseys. Where will it end if it begins.

  8. plum13sec - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    $ $ $

  9. blanchonegro - Mar 28, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    I’d NEVER watch the NBA again if they did that. WORST idea ever.

    • rooney24 - Mar 28, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      Yes, you will. We all will. That is unfortunately why this horrible idea will eventually happen. We all enjoy the sport, so we are willing to put up with all of the dumb money grubbing things owners (and players) do.

  10. anonymouslyanonymouscommentor - Mar 28, 2012 at 3:02 PM

    So where does the line get drawn?

    • rooney24 - Mar 28, 2012 at 5:00 PM

      I bet that a single player would not be allowed to put a patch on his jersey. What happened if a player sold rights to a tattoo on his neck? Would they make him cover it up? I would bet that players are not allowed to wear headbands with specific messages/endorsements. If the owners put logos on jerseys, how do they claim players can’t put something on a headband? It should be all or nothing. It will eventually look like a NASCAR car or driver’s suit and look ridiculous.

  11. rips08 - Mar 28, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    ezmagic, I don’t think you will see ticket prices drop until fans stop showing up. Even then, I don’t think ticket prices will drop as long as they can offset the lost revenue with something else, like these ads or more TV money.

    For the people that hate it, don’t buy the merchandise with it on there and don’t buy the products of the advertisers putting their name on the jersey. I personnally don’t like the idea and will do my best to avooid those products. This type of advertising drives up the prices we pay for the products. Coke, for example, hasn’t gotten more expensive just because of labor and ingredient prices. They are spending more and more money on advertising. If a company has the money to pay $20 million to put their name on a jersey, then they are over charging for their product in my opinion. You can usually find a cheaper alternative.

  12. mjasper24 - Mar 28, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    a billionaire wants to make more money. weird.

  13. charlutes - Mar 28, 2012 at 4:00 PM

    Soon enough we will have Ronald McDonald coaching a bunch of robots programmed only to say, “I’m loving it.”

  14. granadafan - Mar 28, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Terrible idea. Keep the uniforms as they are.

  15. eagles512 - Mar 28, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Another reason to hate him.

  16. detroitcityryda - Mar 28, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    Jews run nba so for them give them the right amount of $$$$$ and it’s a wrap .

    • cltjump - Mar 28, 2012 at 8:59 PM

      Wow, thanks. Leave your red armband at the door, and welcome to the party, jerkoff.

  17. glink123 - Mar 28, 2012 at 7:38 PM

    I dunno man. If I’m an owner, and you made me shell out $350 million or more for my team, then my team’s jersey is MY advertising bulletin board. Does Jerry Reinsdorf share the profits of his team’s net increase in worth from $10 million to $800 million thanks to Jordan? Nope. So why should he give Donald Sterling money because Allstate or McDonalds (or some other Chicago-based company) wants to support the local team?

  18. hojo20 - Mar 28, 2012 at 9:28 PM

    I love that picture of Sue bird. I’d throw it in her.

  19. losangelasbasketball - Mar 29, 2012 at 2:34 AM

    Indiana Pringles
    Charlotte Buttmasters
    San Antonio Skittles

  20. adzs93 - Mar 29, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    Not sure this would work at all to be honest the reason why it works in football is because the area where the sponsors name is was blank prior to sponsorhip in the first place, so the arsenal shirt was just plain red with white sleeves and a crest on left breast….The reason why NBA Jerseys are so popular is because the general look of the jerseys with the cool looking name and/or logo above just has a nice feel to it dno how to describe it…but replacing team name with sponsorship name is out of the question it just wouldn’t work…

    • adzs93 - Mar 29, 2012 at 6:01 AM

      *Soccer…i’m European loool

  21. southpaw77 - Mar 29, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Can’t wait when the iconic NY (yankees), LA (dodgers) or B (Boston redsox) logos are replaced with the golden arches on the caps.

    Since this is a NBA topic can Cuban sell the center court logo to go If you’re gonna sell out go all the way, meanwhile the food and beer is still high priced.

  22. slenderbender29 - Mar 30, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    “The Los Angeles Lakers, brought to you by Kobe Bryant, who didn’t want anyone else’s name on the jersey.”

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