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NBA Plans to Allow Ads on Practice Jersey’s This Season

Anklesnap July 30, 2009 Blogs 20 Comments

July 30, 2009 – Dr. J-Water

Word is starting to spread this week that the NBA this season will be allowing teams to accept advertising offers to place advertisements on their practice jersey’s. There has been no information yet on the regulations that would govern where and how many ads an NBA team would be allowed to put on their practice jersey’s. It seems the league wants to use the practice jersey’s as a beta program for gauging their overall comfort level with allowing ads on the game jersey’s.

NBA Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver had this to say about the decision:

“We are operating a diverse business all around the world,” Silver says. “(The sponsored game jersey) is a well-established practice in other countries. Ultimately, I think our fans will come to accept it.”

Personally, I am diametrically opposed to this idea. Are the individual NBA franchises in that bad a financial shape that the NBA is considering caving under their pressure and allowing this? The economic recession has forced companies of all types into innovative thinking and altering of business principles, but from a fan’s perspective this just seems ridiculous. The NBA has spent a great deal of time and money branding their franchises over the years and been very cautious about not allowing advertising on jersey’s. In fact they have very tight control over the arena advertising as well for certain products. Do they want to throw away all that time and money spent in branding to allow teams to make a quick buck in the short term to help ends meet?

And what if the highest bidder’s for that ad space are companies selling products that conflict with the current sponsorship deals of the NBA’s biggest stars. Will Kobe Bryant wear a jersey with a huge Reebok logo beside his Lakers logo? Better still, what if a pharmaceutical company selling medication for a sexually transmitted disease decides they want the principle ad space on the NBA jersey? Will NBA players balk at having to be walking advertising models for the latest in herpes meds? Or maybe, the NBA just hopes that the players will fall into line with this idea, in hopes that the gravy train trickles down their way in the way of more bloated player contracts.

Something I always enjoyed about NBA jersey’s was the lack of over-branding, the sheer simplicity of the look. Do we really want our pro-athletes looking like a race car driver, or better yet a race car itself, all loaded up with corporate ads so the team can make some extra bucks. Some of the international soccer jersey’s come to mind as worst case scenario’s as well.

Maybe i’m just a bit biased because I always loved simple sports gear. The ones with the tasteful logo tucked away in the corners. For example, i’ve always shied away from the ball caps where it seems the shark is pretty much eating your head. But meh, that’s just me.

What are your thoughts on the NBA allowing ads on their practice jersey’s?

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  • sublicon

    Oooo, a HERPES drug advertising on a basketball jersey! Way to come up with a moronic extreme to scare people from the idea! Let’s get real . . look abroad, do you ever see any of that happening?

    Consider for a second that teams actually give a crap about how they look and that they may be more discerning than you think in the quest to sell a jersey sponsorship. Consider that. If you’re the Lakers or the Knicks or some other team in a lucrative market, you’re not going to have a problem finding suitors to pony up millions for this type of thing.

    Soccer players abroad also have individual sponsorships on their own. People repping Nike, Reebok, etc. etc. I think it’s a no-brainer that teams will need to study how European teams steer clear of those kinds of conflicts, and do as they do.

  • Pig

    I do not support it but these ads will come,but you americans will get used to it..every football team in the world now has comercial on it..Heck even FC barcelona has logo on it’s shirt(unicef)I think small market clubs will do it in 5 years but i’m sure that there won’t be any logo’s on Laker and celtic jerseys

  • http://kneejerknba.blogspot.com/ KneeJerkNBA

    The Snuggie vs ShamWow. Cool.

  • JC

    It’s sad but I think the ads on game jerseys are coming not only for the NBA, but also for NFL, MLB, NHL.

    I’m from FRANCE, in my country on every game jersey you have big ads on the jerseys (usually there is a small team logo on the jersey). I don’t like this jersey, because what you saw in first it’s the ads and not the team’s name.

    With the ads on game jerseys, each year the design of the jersey change a little bit.
    When the day of the ads on nba (nfl, mlb, nhl) game jerseys will come, I think it will change forever the way people collect these jerseys because there won’t the one as they used to. I have lots of nba nfl authentic jerseys, I know what I will do when the day of the ads will come, I will STOP collecting them (cos I can afford to have 10 jerseys for each player, cos the ads will change every year or two and so the jersey design will change).
    The jerseys in american sports are great because when you buy them, you see the identity and history of your team and his city, and not the name of a multi-national company (like in soccer).

  • Mr. Marvin

    I think this is ridiculous. Nobody wants to see human advertisements running around on a small basketball court. I am so oppossed by this and I’m sure every American and Canadian would not like this. The jerseys are small as is, why ruin it with a large advertisement that would probably dominate the name of the team? I mean, maybe for practice uniforms, that’s fine, but leave the game day jerseys as is. I would never buy a basketball jersey again if it had an advertisement on it.

  • http://www.releaseit.net Chandler

    “Jerseys” should not have an apostrophe. Spellcheck and proper grammar, homes.

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  • jetplane

    Kobe’s already got an adidas logo on his uniform. Basketball, Soccer, and many other leagues around the world are using ads on the jerseys, and admittedly some do it more tastefully than others. But I wouldn’t count on the NBA allowing certain companies to advertise on them (prolly won’t see an Doral or Jack Daniel’s logos for example) or to let more than one sponsors logo on a jersey. It’s a smart way to generate revenue for a league that desperately needs it. Would you rather see a future where the NBA withers every year or one that has a logo for Footlocker or Pizza Hut on the front of a Cavaliers or Toronto Raptors jersey. People act like advertising will defile the sacred institution of the NBA (too late they already air commercials and sponsors flash ads all over arenas, Is the sanctity of the game ruined now?) Its a business people and don’t expect the owners to treat it as anything but such.

  • Jared Ras

    Kobe does not have an Adidas logo on his uniform. Practice uniform, yes, but not the actual thing.

    Here are 3 reasons why the NBA will not allow advertisements on the authentic jerseys.

    1.) The NBA tracks jersey sales and is very proud of its merchandising. Practice jerseys, WNBA jerseys, and NASCAR bodies have something in common: nobody buys them. NBA game jerseys, though, is a huge market. Once they put ads on jerseys, they will sell ZERO uniforms (unless, of course, they sell them without the ads, in which case branding will still prevail).

    2.) As mentioned above, branding is important. Putting ads on NBA jerseys is like putting advertisements on Coca-Cola’s signature red trucks or Starbucks coffee sleeves. They don’t do it because they are pushing their own brands before the brand names of others. The NBA teams need to market themselves and the league before anything and everything else.

    3.) It’s a bad image for whatever company takes the plunge. Let’s say that the Cleveland Cavaliers put “DirecTV” on their game jerseys. Whether it’s just a patch or if they pull a soccer look and put it in place of a team name, every fan who wants to buy a Cavaliers jersey will say about DirecTV “Isn’t that the company that ruined the Cavs’ jerseys?”

    Case in point, fans will not accept it, and it would be absolutely stupid to do. Practice jerseys, though… who cares? No one even knows what the practice jerseys look like.

  • http://goal.com Red&Oranje

    If having corporate logos or adverts on the kits (jerseys) meant fewer in game commercials, wouldn’t the majority of the public accept that?

    In soccer the logos are, as another person has stated, an ingrained part of the kits. The Carlsberg logo has become an established portion of the Liverpool shirts, Bwin for Madrid and others and yet no one has trouble distinguishing which kit belongs to which club. The club or franchise is allowed to negotiate it’s sponsorship deals independently and therefore avoid any insulting or unappealing sponsors such as Snuggies, Extenz, ShamWow, etc.

    All sports jerseys tend to change every year or two in any case, and the corporate sponsor has little to no say in when or how they do so. The changes are down to the franchise, the sport’s ruling body, and the sponsoring company (Nike, Adidas, UnderArmor, et. al.) that produce the shirts.

    Again, I ask: If a single, classy logo on the jersey front meant fewer in game commercials (and an end to those annoying red-hats) wouldn’t that be an favourable trade-off?

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  • Dylema

    I’m sorry I don’t think this is a bad idea. Americans seem to hold themselves in a special place. Look around the world shirt sponsors are everywhere. A soccer team without a shirt sponsor looks bad. I mean do we really need giant words on the front of a teams jersey that says something like Hijack City Thunder or can we get used to a crest in the corner of the jersey and leave it at that. I don’t think most people are dumb enough to think a green jersey with bud light across is actually a bud light team. We all know it’s a celtics jersey and will come to accept this sort of things when it comes to pro sports.

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  • Tzvi Daniel

    Many teams have certain colors that they stick to (such as the Lakers whereas they use purple, yellow, and white). A “Best Buy” logo would look good (in terms of design) on a Lakers jersey, but a “Verizon Wireless” logo would not match. Just sayin’.

    Also, the advertisements on jerseys would degrade the fact that the NBA is the most elite league in the entire world! Actually…it kinda depends on the size of the logo. I mean, if it’s as big as the team logo itself, then it looks really, really horrible. But if it’s a small logo, then I guess it would be okay. By having a logo on a team, it would make that company like the actual sponsor of team (as opposed to being the official beer, car company, phone company, etc.)
    Truth is, you and I both know that the NBA is a business. Not that it isn’t very entertaining and doesn’t feature only the best.

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  • NashStatMatrix

    Actually there’s an adidas logo near the bottom of every jersey because adidas have been making the nba jerseys, who do you think makes the jerseys otherwise hmm?

  • http://perpetualbloggingco.blogspot.com Zak Schmoll

    Just to argue the point that the NBA is the “most elite league in the entire world,” do you think that ManU, Arsenal, and Chelsea have lost their image as elite teams just because they advertise? I don’t support jersey advertising in the NBA, but I do not think people would think the NBA would decrease in quality because of advertising.

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