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Small ads likely will be on some NBA jerseys by next season

Jul 20, 2012, 8:35 AM EDT

Celtics jersey

It’s about the money. It’s always about the money.

And putting a small 2-inch by 2-inch adverting patch on the shoulder of NBA jerseys can generate a lot of money, NBA Deputy Commissioner told the NBA owners on Thursday. Then he said the same things to reporters after, as reported by Kevin Arnovitz at ESPN.

“Our view is we think, on an aggregate basis, league-wide, our 30 teams could generate in total $100 million by selling that patch on jerseys, per season,” Silver said.

If you were paying attention during the lockout, you know the owners are not going to walk away from $1 let alone $100 million or so. Silver said he thought all 30 NBA owners were good with this in some form — some probably wanted to go full English Premiere League but the idea of a patch on the shoulder is less intrusive to tradition.

And they are wasting no time.

“I think it’s likely that we’ll do something, implement something, some sort of plan for the fall,” NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver said. “I think it’s fair to say that our teams were excited about the opportunity and think there is potentially a big opportunity in the marketplace to put a two-by-two patch on the shoulder of our jerseys.”

He said it should be in full force by the season after next.

Some fans will hate this with a white-hot passion.

I’m not one of them. I think a patch on the shoulder is not that intrusive, especially if the design is controlled. (There will be lengthy lists of companies teams cannot sell to, including competitors of league sponsors). The league might let Adidas — the league’s official jersey maker — use their logo on there. Or some simple symbol (say the McDonald’s golden arches or the “AA” of American Airlines) would not be a big distraction, but would get plenty of airtime.

Like it or not, you’re going to see it next year. And if you go into the team story to buy the new Raymond Felton Knicks jersey (hey, somebody might) the ad will be there on it, too. Seriously.

  1. stayhigh_247 - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    what is this Nascar? Mike & Mike: Lebron you just won your 2nd title how does it feel? “well first I’d like to thank Pepsi, Cadillac, Sony, Apple and Netflix for making this all possible,special thanks to guys over at Geico for supplying the basketballs to help us win this championship!”

    This is Stern swan song, he’s gonna leave the league looking like a circus before he retires..

  2. mx429 - Jul 20, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    Since they’re whores anyway, I don’t see the problem with their owners branding their stock with icons that represent their status as property.

  3. namriverrat69 - Jul 20, 2012 at 4:09 PM

    The league has become so watered down by mediocrity of the current pro game, by the rich self-serving players. NBA players care less about their fans than any other sport. They need me more than I need to watch them. This was the straw. Seeya . . .

    Still got the NHL, NFL and MLB, but mostly the NHL.

    • auley0101 - Jul 20, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      Agreed. I used to go to one game a year (all I could afford), but I’m not even going to watch on TV anymore. Let’s see how much the owners and players make with no fans Mr. Stern. I was getting tired of watching the stupid flopping anyway.

  4. imaduffer - Jul 20, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Can’t wait for a player to get a “swish” tattooed to his forehead.

  5. sailbum7 - Jul 20, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    This is going too far. You get bombarded with enough ads as it is when you watch a sporting event without them putting ads on the player’s clothing. I refuse to buy clothes that carry ads for their manufacturer and do not think that players should be turned into walking billboards. And what if the company the team selects to put their ad on the uniform is a competitor of a company that the individual player has an endorsement deal with?!?! Does this create a conflict and possible contract breach for the player?!?! I realize that this is going to happen because the owners are so money hungry, but that does not mean it is a good idea or that it will sit well with the fans.

  6. toosano - Jul 20, 2012 at 4:31 PM

    I watch up to 7 games a year. The Finals. The rest, who cares.

    • manwithpizza - Jul 20, 2012 at 5:45 PM

      toosano: “I watch up to 7 games a year. The Finals. The rest, who cares.”

      And yet you are hanging out in a minor NBA only blog on July, 20?


      • handsofsweed - Jul 20, 2012 at 11:39 PM

        Yeah, he probably saw the PBT headline on the right side of PFT or PHT and thought “What?? What the he**??” just like I did. I can’t believe that didn’t occur to you before you posted.

      • toosano - Aug 6, 2012 at 7:23 PM

        So what Pizza. Those 7 games are important to me but the ads aren’t so I commented. Is that ok with you? What Hands said, twit.

  7. BigBeachBall - Jul 20, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    I hope the Lakers are the one team in the NBA that doesn’t do this: like the yankees franchise that never put last names on the back of the jersey. Old School.

    • 1historian - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:45 PM

      The Yankees home jerseys are without a doubt the classiest in all of pro sports. The Yankees are

    • 1historian - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:49 PM

      THE most successful franchise in all of sports history. I went to Yankee Stadium once in 1953 and that guy who just died had just started – the guy who Derek Jeter has introduce him via recording when he comes to bat the 1st time at a game there. What a voice, what a fabulous stadium. The Yankees had Yogi Berra, Ed Lopat, Allie Reynolds, Johnny Mize, among others and the Indiana had Larry Doby. Good memory.

      FYI – I am not a Yankees fan but class is class.

  8. imforbigblue - Jul 20, 2012 at 7:22 PM

    Gives me another reason to watch college basketball over the nba as they keep selling there souls

  9. rareair23 - Jul 20, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    NBA Memo to All Teams from David Stern; July 20, 2018

    It is now mandatory for all NBA players wanting to play in our league to change their last name to a corporate sponsor, so we can stitch that on the backs of all jerseys. Thank you for your understanding.

    D. Stern

  10. itsthemelman82 - Jul 21, 2012 at 5:48 AM

    This is just stupid & the NBA knows how to do stupid (remember the composite basketballs) very well. Bottom line College and pro sports are all going for money grabs, while giving up tradition. I’m not gonna say “i’ll show them, I’ll never watch an NBA game again” I’m a sports fan so that would be total bs but, I won’t give them any extra revenue by buying mechandise with golden arches on it!

  11. cowboychris5xchamps - Jul 21, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    florida727 must be smoking meth if she thinks “the college game is better” 23 to 15 at halftime sucks scum! Go shoot yourself in the nose with a paintball gun you dummy!!!

  12. pensfan603 - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    If you didnt know 20 out of the 30 nba teams are losing money every single year, so i tihnk its hypocritical to call them money happy if you want to complain that all stern cares about is pumping his main stars and trying to get the casual fan to love them instead of there home team ill agree, but all this is doing is trying to help struggling teams create money and really all it is, is a 2×2 on the shoulder after abou a month i doubt people will even notice it or care. Like seriously are you going to stop watching the nba because of the ads no it may turn you off to them, but as long as they dont keep doing repetitively stupid things i dont think you guys are gona stop watching the nba

  13. blazertop - Jul 21, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    LISTEN CAREFULLY….NO NBA TEAM IS LOSING MONEY. How naive can you be…buying up that garbage? I guess you’re going to tell me politicians are honest next?

  14. sweepthleg - Jul 21, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    Ummm….. 2 words……..BUSH LEAGUE!

    The NBA is a global brand why screw with that by putting an ad next to a recognizable team name? You want some credibility then you don’t allow teams to look like the Minnesota Tropics by selling ads on their jerseys.

    This isn’t a sign of the apocalypse, but it’s one more step down that road of selling out credibility and tradition to make a few more bucks. I can handle the clothing maker putting their brand on a jersey they made/designed the thing so it’s understandable, but putting the golden arches, American Airlines, Exxon, or Nintendo on the side of an NBA jersey is just cheap.

    Why does the NBA need this? They made how many billions last year? I’m all for capitalism, but put the fork down and realize your 5000 square foot mansion and 9 figure bank account is enough.

    Ugh, this kind of brand everything then hang a chandelier of advertising on it will begin to come back and haunt the NBA. But whatever the robot and/or zombie hordes that will inevitably conquer the earth will bring and end to this.

  15. Jennie Oemig - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    I honestly don’t like the idea since every other sport will follow suit, but it was definitely inevitable, what with the nature of advertising the way it is.

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