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Stern says owners divided on idea of ads on NBA jerseys

Oct 8, 2012, 10:31 AM EDT

David Stern AP

David Stern’s first talk with the media came in Milan, Italy, Sunday, where the Celtics were about to play an exhibition.

And it’s a city where the jersey of the most popular team says “Fly Emirates” across the chest, while the logo for AC Milan is a smaller crest. In Europe, the idea of ads on jerseys is not a debate, it’s an accepted form of revenue nobody blinks at.

Stern was asked about where that stands in the NBA, and A. Sherrod Blakely of was there to get the answers. Bottom line, he said the owners are very divided on the issue.

“It’s something that’s being discussed by the NBA Board of Governors,” said Stern who was in attendance at Boston’s 105-75 win over EA7 Emporio Armani. “This is the one forum that understands that advertising on team jerseys has gone on for decades, both in football and in basketball, virtually every other sport…

“As a personal matter, I am not in favor of it, but I’m not standing in the way of it,” Stern said. “If my board wants to do it, we’ll do it.”

Two other notes from Stern’s press conference:

• On bringing NBA teams to Europe: “I don’t think having a single team in Europe is practical. I never have. What I’ve said is if we’re going to have an NBA presence here in terms of the league, it should be five teams. I’m safe to say that there aren’t enough buildings, there aren’t adequate TV arrangements, we don’t have owners, and I’m not sure we could charge the prices that would be necessary. I don’t think our fans are that avid yet.”

Just my guess, if the NBA did this they would absorb five powerhouse squads from there, teams like Barcelona and EA7 Emporio Armani.

• Stern also talked flopping: “Since I happen to think basketball players are the greatest athletes in the world, I think they should play basketball rather than act. I think we will eventually find a way to remove flopping from our game.”

  1. joeyashwi - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    For the love of God please no ads on jerseys!!! In Europe they are not inundated with the TV ads we are here, hence the need to make revenue by putting ads on jerseys. I do not want to watch the Los Angeles Geicos vs. the San Antonio Progressives. Stop the madness!

  2. eugenesaxe - Oct 8, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    The only “division” on jersey ads is how much of the jersey they’re going to sell.

  3. e39er - Oct 8, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    Bunch of crap, it’ll ruin the looks of jerseys with ads, it’s already hard enough having to sit through commercials every time there is a dead ball

  4. papichulo55 - Oct 8, 2012 at 10:50 PM

    The Owners have taken notice of how much the Players are making from endorsements. This is the first salvo of the Owners trying to ‘get a piece of the action’. What happens when a team signs with Addidas and the superstar has an endorsement with Nike? I see another strike on the horizon…

  5. mrmafaka - Oct 8, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    This is just stupid, maybe you ought to put a cap on the greed, then you won’t sit around and devise more stupid stuff, I would expect this out of a European league, they are like a AA league, go ahead and sell the space on their jerseys, but the NBA are the real pros, they need to maintain a professional appearance, and as a fan, I would not buy a jersey with some endorsement on it, that’s akin to a baseball promo, you know, a give away, a free jersey that ends up being a dust rag.

  6. ironpeddler255 - Oct 9, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    So, it’s bad enough that I’ll never make in a year what an NBA superstar makes for playing one game…it’s bad enough I have to pay $120 for a ticket to see the Knicks play and from that seat I need binoculars to read their player numbers…NOW you’re telling me that when I look through those same binoculars, I’m being told that “I’m in good hands with Allstate”?

    Come on David…enough of the runaway greed train already. Haven’t us fans put up with enough already with having to watch these overpaid, undereducated prima dona players and millionaire owners complain that they are being short changed to the point of going on strike? An NBA jersey is over $200!…a ticket is priced so high that you have to save for an entire season to see one game! The Corporate season tickets are going the way of the dodo bird if you haven’t already noticed…we’re all that left, us normal, working class fans!

    There is a MAJOR disconnect between the fans and the players/owners that is widening every day and getting so bad, you don’t even think about us as a viable voice in ANYTHING when it comes to money. All we’re thought as is a bunch mindless, loyal, collateral damage who will follow our teams no matter how bad we are treated.

    The day of reckoning is coming sooner than you all think…wake up NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB before it’s too late! The Gravy Train is slowing down…and before you know it, it will be at a full stop!

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