The National Basketball Association is arguably the second biggest global market next to soccer. It features stars like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony who are receiving tens of millions of dollars to wear a particular brand of shoes during their games. A new marketing idea that has been floating around for 5 years now but has picked up serious steam with the change over of commissioners is idea of placing ad patches on the front of NBA jersey. Now I know what everyone is thinking “No!!!” At first, I was completely against the fact of my favorite NBA team (New York Knicks) having an ugly advertisements add right in the center of the jersey. As I have looked into this topic more I have realized that it’s almost impossible for the NBA to turn down due the revenue they would receive, which could be over $100 million annually.
The former Charlotte Bobcats now Charlotte Hornets have recently released their new jersey for the 2014-2015 basketball season. Interestingly enough, Matt Moore, a basketball writer for CBS Sports, noticed that there is no NBA logo on the front right of the new jerseys like there has been for decades. Above is a picture comparing the new 2014-2015 Charlotte Hornets jerseys compared to last years New York Knicks jersey. Notice that there is a NBA logo located in the right hand corner of the Knicks jersey. The NBA said they will now put the NBA logo on the back of the jersey opening up a spot for advertisements on the front of the jerseys.
The NBA has been extremely smart about how they are going to design the ads. The ad is going to be a 2 by 2 patch located on the shoulder of the jersey. This is extremely small advertisement and something that is not gaudy or flashy. Interestingly enough, the WNBA has had ads on their jerseys since 2009(WNBA ads jersey located below).
Clearly these patches should be a non issue. Are fans bothered by the MAC patch on the UMass Football team? That size patch will be about the same size that the NBA uses. Fans should not be frustrated with this trend because in reality they will hardly notice its even there.
Although I am completely fine with the NBA plan for advertisements on jersey currently, I strongly hope they do not go over board with ads like Nascar has, for example. I feel that it’s important to keep the integrity of the jerseys intact. The jerseys can’t be more then a few small advertisements located strategically on the jersey. If it looks anything like the below images, then I will be in a complete uproar.
Fans must realize that these small advertisements will generate over $100 million a year for the NBA. Everything dealing with professional sports is fueled by money and this continues with advertising patches. The ads are coming and you will barely even notice.