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Adam Silver says league not close to eliminating team names on jerseys in favor of advertisements

Sep 11, 2013, 8:11 PM EDT

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Deputy NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will be taking over for David Stern in February, but don’t expect any drastic or immediate changes to the way the league has been successfully run under Stern for the past 29 years.

That includes allowing advertisers to take over your favorite player’s jersey.

While ads on NBA jerseys are almost certainly coming in the very near future, Silver says that the league has no intention of going the way of the WNBA or the MLS by allowing sponsor names to replace team names entirely on the front of NBA uniforms.

From Dan Orlando of the New York Business Journal (via HoopsHype):

Adam Silver, the deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the National Basketball Association, insists the NBA is “nowhere near the point where we’d eliminate team names” from jerseys in favor of branded uniforms, but that day could eventually come.

Silver spoke yesterday to the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit at The Paley Center for Media in Manhattan. He conceded that he and current commissioner, David Stern, disagreed on whether or not to place ads on players’ game uniforms. While Stern opposed the move, Silver thinks it could significantly boost the number and type of brands that would be interested in supporting the league.

We’ve been conditioned to accept advertising almost everywhere, and while the space on an NBA player’s jersey is a little more sacred to fans, the reality is that any business will take revenue wherever it can as long as it doesn’t negatively affect its product.

As for jersey sales themselves, fans will buy what their favorite player is wearing. You think soccer fans in the states cared that David Beckham’s L.A. Galaxy jersey had the Herbalife brand name across the front? They didn’t. And neither would NBA fans over time.

But thankfully, Silver sees no rush to introduce the league to this new revenue stream — at least not to these extreme levels.

  1. bmoreravens1012013 - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:02 PM

    The NBA would officially become an extreme joke to me and would turn me off completely. I’m a lifelong NBA fan . I love and grew up playing basketball with hopes to make it to the NBA. This would be it for me. It’s selling out to the tee and frankly, sad on so many levels. It’s like wow, this us what its come to? That would signal to me that the NBA is going broke. We already know its not as popular in the states , which is why they have teams constantly shifting and leaving, or talks of bankruptcy, etc….This would make all of these negatives confirm public perception about the state of the league.

  2. hildezero - Sep 11, 2013 at 9:09 PM

    NBA is wrong. WNBA is wrong. They should do it like MLS. Have just one sponsor on front of the jerseys and not having a team name. Having two sponsors in the front like the WNBA, looks unprofessional, because basketball jerseys don’t have much space in the front and having a sponsor with a team name, would look just plain wrong. Having one sponsor would be perfect.

  3. eagles512 - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:06 PM

    I’d be done

  4. bigrains - Sep 11, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    I don’t mind advertising on a jersey. But NOT ON THE FRONT OR BACK, and do not go away from team names. Sponsor logos should be 1 inch by 1 inch on the very bottom left or right on either the front or back of jersey. I’m cool with that. But this isn’t NASCAR. Don’t put a big logo on the hood and a million little ones everywhere else. Just 1 logo. Maybe 2. Not big. But very small.

  5. 00maltliquor - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:29 AM

    It’s called selling out Adam. For the love of God and the great game of basketball…don’t do it! EVER!

  6. usm418 - Sep 12, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    Eventually the owners greed will bring the advertising to the uniforms. They’re only concerned with their bottom line.

  7. louhudson23 - Sep 12, 2013 at 4:42 AM

    This will be the culmination of years of de-emphasizing the teams in favor of individual players.

  8. wlouden77 - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    If the NBA allowed jerseys with sleeves then an argument could be made that teams can have sponsors buy spots and place a logo patch on a sleeve. then the question remains as to if teams would be free to seek out their own or even smaller local sponsors or of thee NBA would tell them which ones to use….

  9. wlouden77 - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Sleeves on jerseys and long shorts if they wish to advertise, move the player name and number lower on the back like I have seen some teams in other leagues do.. or no name at all.. then teams can have 3-4 sponsors and the player can advertise 1 of their sponsors. here’s a potential breakdown…

    logo 1 – team: on right arm
    logo 2 – NBA: on left arm. perhaps different by region.
    logo 3 – player – on one leg of shorts.
    logo 4 – team – on upper back – could be smaller to accommodate optional
    logo 5 – team – 2nd smaller.

    definitely not best idea but if NBA wants to do this to get even larger share of the financial pie, every side gets something. Could even be limited to 3 logos, 1 each for nba , team and player

  10. gmsalpha - Sep 12, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Basically we’re being warned that if we want a #6 Heat jersey, a #1 Bulls jersey, a #24 Lakers jersey, etc etc….BUY IT NOW!!!!

  11. brunobuckeye - Sep 12, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    David Beckham’s jersey looks stupid.

  12. 24thesho - Sep 14, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    This is going to be the downfall of the NBA.

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