Adam Silver says league not close to eliminating team names on jerseys in favor of advertisements

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Deputy NBA Commissioner Adam Silver will be taking over for David Stern in February, but don’t expect any drastic or immediate changes to the way the league has been successfully run under Stern for the past 29 years.

That includes allowing advertisers to take over your favorite player’s jersey.

While ads on NBA jerseys are almost certainly coming in the very near future, Silver says that the league has no intention of going the way of the WNBA or the MLS by allowing sponsor names to replace team names entirely on the front of NBA uniforms.

From Dan Orlando of the New York Business Journal (via HoopsHype):

Adam Silver, the deputy commissioner and chief operating officer of the National Basketball Association, insists the NBA is “nowhere near the point where we’d eliminate team names” from jerseys in favor of branded uniforms, but that day could eventually come.

Silver spoke yesterday to the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit at The Paley Center for Media in Manhattan. He conceded that he and current commissioner, David Stern, disagreed on whether or not to place ads on players’ game uniforms. While Stern opposed the move, Silver thinks it could significantly boost the number and type of brands that would be interested in supporting the league.

We’ve been conditioned to accept advertising almost everywhere, and while the space on an NBA player’s jersey is a little more sacred to fans, the reality is that any business will take revenue wherever it can as long as it doesn’t negatively affect its product.

As for jersey sales themselves, fans will buy what their favorite player is wearing. You think soccer fans in the states cared that David Beckham’s L.A. Galaxy jersey had the Herbalife brand name across the front? They didn’t. And neither would NBA fans over time.

But thankfully, Silver sees no rush to introduce the league to this new revenue stream — at least not to these extreme levels.