Word came out from the newly appointed NBA commissioner Adam Silver that we may be seeing advertisements on player’s jerseys in the near future. At first thought, this seems a little ridiculous. It brings me back to when the NFL announced there would be ads on practice jerseys. Is the league really hurting for money? According to sporting intelligence, NBA players are the world’s best paid sportsmen with respect to average annual salary received by players. (1) This leads me to believe that the league is doing just fine and does not necessarily need the additional revenue that would be provided by ads. And there lies the catch. The money is not needed by the league. It is, however, there for the taking.
After thinking more about it and reconsidering the prospect of advertisements on jerseys, I think it is a spectacular opportunity for all parties involved. From a marketers stand point, a new way to advertise might be exactly what a company needs to remain competitive. For the NBA, it’s a cash cow. Back in 2011, before Silver’s time as commissioner began, he had discussed the potential money that could be made if this was implemented. ESPN reported that Silver was quoted saying that a space on player’s jerseys could be worth near $100 million..(2) That’s one space. For $100,000,000. Taking into account there are 30 teams in the league, I think they stand to make a lot of money when ads are finally placed on jerseys. New medium of advertising for companies, even bigger wallet for the NBA: Win-Win.
Sleeves? Really?! A lot has been talked about with the increased usage of the sleeved jerseys now featured by the league. These unis were on display over the weekend during the All Star game in New Orleans. Players have been quoted as saying that the jerseys affect their shot and are unnecessary. As a fan of the players in the NBA, I do not want to see something like sleeves hider a players performance. But because I’m writing this from a marketing perspective, I read a little more into it and was surprised with what I found. Cork Gaines of Business Insider was quoted when speaking about the sleeved jerseys:
In addition to the increase in surface area on the front compared to a traditional jersey, the design includes fewer contrasting colors and less area being covered by graphics, lettering, and numbers. It would seem that this is exactly what you would want to change if you were going to eventually add an advertisement patch to the front of the uniforms (2)
It seems as though the plan for advertising has already been set in motion. As a fan, this is something that we are just going to have to deal with. As a marketer, this is a gold mine and something to jump all over. .