The debate of whether or not to ad company logos to sports jerseys in the United States has been a topic brought up over the past decade or so. At first it was an unthinkable thing to do and the four major sports in the United States threw this idea right out the window, if you will. The idea has been brought to the attention of American sports leagues because of the success of this type of advertising in European soccer. Each team attained a corporate sponsor that was willing to pay to have their name across the front of the team’s jerseys. Now this may seem weird not having the name of the respective team being the largest words on their jerseys, but it allows for more small sponsors to be attained and more money to be made from the larger ones. Four English Premier League soccer teams bring in at least $30 million a year just from the jersey sponsorship. It is a very well-known fact that sports teams in the United States are always trying to find ways to make more money.
Advertisement on jerseys and clothing already exists within the United States just not in any major sports. Professional golfers have corporate logos on their clothes every weekend they hit the course, NASCAR drivers have corporate logos all over their cars and gear they wear. Some NHL teams feature sponsor logos on their practice jerseys and even their minor league system the AHL features small sponsors on their jerseys. The WNBA also uses corporate logos across the front of team’s jerseys instead of the team name
The big question now is not when major sports teams in the United States add corporate logos to their jerseys but which of the four major sports will be the first to acquire this idea. The NHL has reportedly turned down an offer to do so this past off season that would have brought the league at least an extra $120 million in revenue, their reasoning you ask? They do not want to be the first major sport to make the change and stray from the tradition American sports hold. I find this to be absolutely ridiculous, if there is one thing that is stressed in the world today it is to be the different person, do what is best for you, and most of all take chances, failure only sets you up for success. The NBA seems like the most plausible option since the WNBA already uses the logos on their jerseys and because new commissioner Adam Silver said this past year it will most likely happen in the NBA within the next five years. Major League Soccer is the closest to one of the major four sports that uses corporate logos on the front of their jerseys, just like European soccer teams.
Why these advertisements have not been used yet could be for a few reasons. The leagues could be in a debate as to whether every team would have the same, small corporate logo(s) on the jerseys or if each team would sell their own sponsorships individually. Also, if the sponsorships start to get out of hand it could start to call for salary caps and such to start being removed in American sports, like in English soccer due to the high volume of money made through sponsorships. Although there could be some down falls, this should be utilized throughout the major sports because it will allow for more money to be spent to enhance the experience for fans.