New York (AFP) – The NBA will join sports leagues around the world in allowing team sponsors’ logos to appear on uniform jerseys, the league said Friday.
Owners voted to allow corporate logo patches to be worn on jerseys beginning with the 2017-18 season as part of a three-year pilot program.
The patches will measure about 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches and be worn on the front left of the jerseys. Each of the league’s 30 teams will sell its own jersey sponsorship.
Although such deals are common in leagues around the world, they are rare in US sport, seen in Major League Soccer, the WNBA and motor racing but not on game uniforms in Major League Baseball, the NFL, NHL or, until now, the NBA.
The NBA tested the concept by allowing Kia car manufacturer logos on this year’s All-Star Game jerseys — prompting complaints from some fans on social media sites.
“Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams and the additional investment will help grow the game in exciting new ways,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said.
“We’re always thinking about innovative ways the NBA can remain competitive in a global marketplace, and we are excited to see the results of this three-year trial.”
The sponsor patch will not appear on the retail versions of the player jerseys sold by the league, but teams will have the option to sell the jerseys with sponsor patches in their own retail outlets.