Manchester United has an AON logo across the front of their jersey and nobody blinks. Newcastle United has Northern Rock and its not thought twice about (but it was cooler when the Newcastle Brewery sponsored them).
Would NBA fans feel the same way? What about a replacing the Lakers logo with Target? Or replace the Celtics across Boston’s chest with Dunkin Donuts?
You can bet NBA owners are thinking about it because they are thinking about every possible kind of revenue stream heading into the new collective bargaining agreement. Horizon media, in a study reported by Forbes, estimated the annual income — but noted the drop off would be pretty dramatic from the top teams on down.
More striking, however, is the disparity between leagues. Given the numbers noted above, what is to be made of the finding that in the NBA the Los Angeles Lakers reign with $4,059,744, while the next two positions are held by the New York Knicks at $2,775,182 and Boston Celtics at $2,718,950?
The study does not include in-stadium impressions, merchandising, or some other things that likely would drive up the money made.
But even then is it worth it? The Lakers would put a corporate logo across their chest for the price of Steve Blake?
And (as with gate an local television deal revenue) what the Lakers and Celtics make dwarfs what Indiana or Minnesota or Cleveland could make. Would this revenue be shared or would the Lakers get to hoard that money and keep their spending advantage?
The WNBA already has teams with corporate logos. It’s coming people, like it or not. The only question is if the numbers are there yet. This study makes me think it could be farther off. But not that far.