NBA jerseys get sponsored patches for the new season, what does this mean for other professional sports?
Basketball season is quickly approaching, and fans are excited about their new and improved teams. Even with the newly drafted teams, the proceedings will look the same as they have for years, except for one difference—the jerseys will now feature an ad. Starting this season, jerseys will feature a 2.5-inch-by-2.5-inch patch on the left shoulder.
“We believe jersey sponsorships are a valuable asset for both our teams and our partners,” Amy Brooks, executive vice president of team marketing and business operations for the National Basketball Association, told Racked in a statement. “We are pleased with the momentum so far, and optimistic about the possibilities. This will give teams the opportunity to develop partnerships that are closely integrated and authentic to their brand, while also allowing those brands to build unique associations with specific markets and garner exposure on a global scale.”
So far, only eight teams have done so: the Cleveland Cavaliers, Boston Celtics, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Orlando Magic, Minnesota Timberwolves and Brooklyn Nets. The program will also be worth more than $100 million for the teams, generated by the sponsors. With this win-win situation, why haven’t more teams agreed to the ad space?
“No one really knows what this spot is worth,” Paul Lukas, proprietor of Uni Watch, said. “It’s a new market. There is no baseline. It’s all sort of an experiment. Nobody knows what this market will bear. It’s all sort of making it up as we go along. Maybe we’re seeing some growing pains. But even that is an implicit assumption, that there’s something problematic about the pace of it. Maybe it’s not problematic.” Other teams have time to decide on this transition; the NBA has decided to make it a three-year experiment. However, few expect the new jerseys to cease sponsorship in 2020.
It will, in all likelihood, expand in the NBA, as well as other professional sports.