I hate to tell you this, but it’s going to happen someday — there will be corporate advertising on NBA jerseys.
How soon may be decided when the Board of Governors (read: the owners) meet next month to discuss league business. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been pushing for the idea for a while and restated that to the Star-Telegram (hat tip to SLAM).
“I’ve been trying to tell [the NBA],” Cuban said. “If someone wants to give us $10 million, I’ll make it happen….
“If the amount’s enough, David (Stern) will jump up and down,” Cuban said. “He’s not going to do it for $200,000 from Power Balance, but if somebody offers us $25 million, it’s done. We just have to work out the split with all the teams so everybody gets the benefits.”
The first foray into this will not be some European soccer type move where the company name replaces the team name (something also done in the WNBA). More than likely it would be something like Adidas (who already makes the NBA jerseys) getting to place its logo prominently on the jerseys. Or maybe something like McDonald’s “golden arches” on all the uniforms up near the shoulder. Something that you notice but is more subtle as opposed to something garish.
How much that is worth, and are there companies willing to pay it, are the real questions. I know the idea offends some American sports fans, but that doesn’t matter. The day is coming, sooner or later.