New NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke at the 2014 IMG World Congress of Sports presented by SportsBusiness Daily/Journal and said the use of coporate logos on jerseys is “inevitable” and that it would “most likely” come within the next five years.
After mentioning the English Premier League and International soccer’s use of corporate logos on their uniforms, Silver seemed to say that corporate logos on NBA jerseys were all but done. This is gonna make some people very upset.
By way of Ad Age, comes Silver’s explanation for why the corporate logos will make an appearance on NBA jerseys sooner rather than later:
“It just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get that much closer to our fans and to our players. It gives us an opportunity just to have deeper integration when it comes to those forms of sponsorship. … Increasingly as we see Champion’s League and English Premier League televised in the U.S., I think it’s going to become more acceptable and more commonplace for our fans as well.”
When asked if the switch would come within five years, Mr. Silver answered “definitely.” After a moment’s thought, he amended that to: “Most likely.”
After his presentation, Mr. Silver told Ad Age “almost all” of the NBA’s corporate sponsors have expressed interest in slapping their corporate logos on player jerseys. “I think it’s coming. It’s inevitable. It’s such as enormous opportunity for our sponsors to connect with us. I think the marketplace is asking for it.”
None of the other three largest professional sports â€” MLB, NFL and the NHL â€” offer corporations a place to put logos on their jerseys, so the NBA would be the first if it happens. But the new commissioner said it was inevitable and most likely happening within the next half decade, so people better be prepared.
There’s a certain purity to uniforms without a corporate sponsor emblazoned on the front or back, which is why it hasn’t already happened. Only the iconic silhouette of Jerry West adorns an NBA jersey aside from the team’s logo. With 28 of 30 NBA arenas using corporate naming rights, some (i.e. traditionalists) will say this is yet another slap in the face to diehard NBA fans burned out by the augmented commercialization of the league. But, um, the NBA is a business as any veteran NBA player will tell you.
While we think it’ll certainly hurt the aesthetic look of players on the court, and the Adam Smith-ian free market principle for the undertaking is a bit gauche, there are plenty of other issues at stake in the near future that should have a more lasting effect on the game. So we’re gonna ignore this one for now â€” or at least until the day arrives when coroporate logos become a reality. Because if there’s anything Silver’s speech shows us, it’s that they’re coming soon and there’s not much opponents can do to stop them.
Do you support corporate logos on NBA jerseys?
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