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Adam Silver: Ads on jerseys likely within five years

Mar 20, 2014, 10:59 AM EDT

WNBA Sue Bird Ad jersey

It’s going to happen.

It’s not going to go from today’s jerseys to looking like a NASCAR driver. The word Celtics is not going to be replaced by “McDonald’s” like a European soccer team.

However, logos as some form of advertising will be coming to NBA jerseys eventually, likely within the next five years. Some owners have been pushing for it (*cough* Mark Cuban *cough*) and NBA commissioner Adam Silver threw out the five year figure while speaking at the IMG World Congress of Sports, as reported by Darren Rovell of ESPN.

“It just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get to get that much closer to our fans and to our players,” Silver said at the conference, put on by the Sports Business Daily/Journal. “It gives us an opportunity just to have deeper integration when it comes those forms of sponsorship.”

In 2011, it was Silver who said putting logos on jerseys would be worth about $100 million a year to the NBA. But Silver told last month that the discussion over the logo patches on jerseys had slowed in recent years because it was unclear how sponsors on jerseys would compromise advertising being sold by the league’s national television partners, Turner and ESPN.

In-game and in-show advertising is a growing norm because in our DVR/streaming world we fast forward through or walk out of the room during the commercials. So a Ford Fusion shows up in “New Girl” or in “The Amazing Race” so that the product placement is just part of the story.

NBA owners are in this for the money — did you see the last lockout? — and eventually they will do this as a way to raise revenue. It will be a golden arches of McDonald’s up on the shoulder (and if you wonder why the league pushes sleeved jerseys know that is more real estate to put relatively unobtrusive ads).

Go ahead and hate it if you want, but it’s coming not only to the NBA but to every major professional sport in the USA. It’s not a tide that can be stopped.

  1. asimonetti88 - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    “It just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get to get that much closer to our fans and to our players,”

    Right because as fans that’s exactly what we want. To be closer to major corporations.

    • jcmeyer10 - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      Hey, I am going to go to TD Bank North Garden and watch the Celtics brought you by Bud Light and watch the dancers sponsored by Alex and Ani and watch the half time entertainment brought to you by….

      Haha it already is ridiculous, but to mess with the jersey crosses the line.

  2. void96eater - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Welcome to the Adam Silver era

    • Professor Fate - Mar 20, 2014 at 7:08 PM

      Where the “A” in NBA stands for Advertisements.

  3. bucrightoff - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    I’m sure that making extra money from sponsoring jerseys will result in lower ticket prices, lower parking prices, lower concession prices….I actually almost wrote that with a straight face….almost.

  4. bballhistorian - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    God, no….

  5. lastdukestreetking - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:38 AM

    I’m trying to figure out why anyone cares.

  6. au1978 - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:54 AM


  7. eagles512 - Mar 20, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    What a disgrace.

  8. jeffkx - Mar 20, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    I’m 27 years old so I don’t want to sound like a clown and talk about the good old days..but good lord I hope this doesn’t happen. What are they thinking? This is almost as bad as when MLB was going to put Spiderman on the bases when that movie was coming out. I think they only way I would like it is if the sponsor of the jersey had to be somehow related to the city (i.e. if my Cavs had Cleveland based Key Bank as a sponsor or Akron based Goodyear tires).

    • asimonetti88 - Mar 20, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      Perhaps the Clippers can be sponsored by Hustler magazine.

  9. ptownbearsfan420 - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    This is horrible. As an NBA fan who doesn’t pay for cable television i am already limited to one or two (usually crappy Knicks n thunder type) games a week! Now with the sleeves, the ads, the absolutely atrocious eastern conference, the NBA is deteriorating at an incredible pace. I thank god I can say I was alive and watched the NBA of the 90’s and early 2000’s .. The greatest period in a sport that wasn’t broke but everyone decided needed fixing. SMH…… Just sad.

  10. thenew013 - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    If the logos are going to be that big than the team shouldn’t even have a name.

    Team Pepsi vs Team Coke !!!BAM!!! instant rivalry.

    Bing vs Google

    amazon vs ebay

    I think the team play would probably effect the company stocks

  11. tampajoey - Mar 20, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    National Basketball Entertainment

  12. pharohislife - Mar 20, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    They better not try to sell these jerseys to us. Please don’t buy them people.

  13. Jeff - Mar 20, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Makes me wanna hurl.

  14. 00maltliquor - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:04 PM


  15. ProBasketballPundit - Mar 20, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    If they force players to wear any more ads then they should allow players to get temporary tattoos of Doritos or whatever, to make their own extra money. I’m not saying I want to see this but if we’re gonna go down this road… let’s get real freaky with it.

  16. bkg63 - Mar 20, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    Note to self: (1) Cross off future NBA jersey purchase; (2) cease supporting league thru my hard-earned $$$ since it is slowly being swallowed by its by corporate sugardaddys (3) repeat (1) and (2) if NFL, MLB and/or NHL follow suit…

  17. yourpalkyle - Mar 20, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    OOOOH!!! I can’t wait to get closer to the NBA’s marketing partners, more subliminal corporate bombardment is exactly what the game has been missing. Why stop there? Why not the ball, back board, ref’s jerseys, mascots, announcer’s suits, etc? What a deplorable concept, there are already enough advertisements smattered across every inch of the arenas, Silver should be ashamed of himself.

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