Historically the four major U.S. sports have resisted the idea of advertisements on their jerseys. Advertisements would seem to threaten the nostalgia associated with the classic uniforms and jerseys which have been around for decades. Ads would take away from the simple beauty of the jerseys and create a more tacky look. Despite these factors the NBA is a business and businesses seek profits. The league sees great potential for increased revenue by making such changes and in 2011 NBA commissioner Adam Silver estimated that “selling the space to advertisers could be worth $100 million.” It makes sense for advertisers as well who have the opportunity to turn some of the most recognizable people in this country and the world into walking billboards for their products.
What company would possibly not want Lebron James wearing advertising for their products during games? Not only would the players wear the jerseys during the games but these jerseys would be sold throughout the world. Fans would be made into walking billboards as well. This type of branding is incredibly valuable. NBA Players and teams would become associated with products in similar fashion to soccer teams around the globe.
The wealthiest of club football teams in the world display advertisers as the main image on their jerseys. The teams logos are now just small patches compared to their sponsors logos which are front and center.
Adam Silver recently announced that NBA jerseys will eventually join this trend. Silver stated that such changes “make good business sense.” Sports fans in the United States must begin to accept that major uniform changes are about to occur. Jersey advertisements make sense for the leagues as well as the companies so it is only a matter of time. Before long it is likely that your favorite team, whether it’s basketball, football or baseball, will be sporting a jersey with a company across the front in place of their team name.