“It’s manifest destiny,” commissioner Adam Silver responded Friday when asked why it was necessary to emblazon corporate logos on all NBA team jerseys starting in the 2017-18 season.
The crass commercialization of team uniforms provides another $4-6 million per year from selected sponsors, which comes out to $120-180 million per year in new revenue for the league, sources told ESPN. The additional revenue grab comes on the heels of the NBA signing a $24 billion television deal with ESPN and Turner.
Silver rationalized the decision saying that it won’t affect the competition. “What we’re talking about is a patch on the jersey… it creates an additional investment in those companies in the league. … But once they put their name on the jerseys, they’ll then use their media to promote the NBA extensively. That’s probably the greatest reason for us to do it.”
Teams can now solicit companies to purchase a 2.5-by-2.5-inch space as the NBA becomes the first of the four major U.S. sports leagues to fasten advertisements on regular game-day jerseys. Practice jerseys already bear advertising logos.
In addition to the new corporate logos, a Nike swoosh will appear on the jersey starting the same season, replacing the Adidas logo which now adorns the game jerseys.
“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,” Silver stated in an official NBA press release. “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.”