As per the NBA Board of Governors, NBA in-game jerseys will be receiving 2×2 sponsorship patches beginning as early as the 2013-14 season.
“I think it’s likely that we’ll do something, implement something, some sort of plan for the fall. 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.” - NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver.
This proposed plan could make the league upwards of $100 million dollars in revenue.
According to Forbes.com, with around 450 players in the NBA, $100 million would mean that a player’s jersey patch would generate roughly $222,222 throughout an 82-game season. A 2×2-inch patch would cost the advertiser $2,710 per player, per game which equals to around $677.50 per square inch a game.
The NBA wouldn’t be the first major sports league to implement sponsorship patches on their uniforms. The Premier League, WNBA and Nascar(to the extreme) have done this previously and garnered tens of millions of dollars for their respective leagues because of it.
There are some fans out there who believe putting logos and ads on the jerseys is a terrible move by the league. The NBA takes pride in being traditional and respecting history. It’s an old-school establishment. Why ruin things by making the sport and it’s players more corporate by turning the uniforms into walking billboards?
Sure, the patches aren’t necessarily that big, but will it stop there? If David Stern notices a large income of money to the league because of this tiny logo movement, whose to say that we won’t see more ads and more sponsors showing up on jerseys in years to come?
Honestly, does it really matter?
The National Basketball Association is a business, first and foremost. After a shortened season in 2011-12, David Stern is more than likely trying to create ways to make some of those lost funds back. With more money put into the league, the players and owners get larger salaries and the NBA itself has more cash to put towards basketball-related items that need to be addressed.
As long as the advertising doesn’t go over the top and the patches start destroying the look of our storied NBA uniforms, then I don’t have a problem with it.
Neither should you.
It’s just a logo…..
Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports