The Lakers were reportedly one of few NBA teams against advertising on NBA jerseys.
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss on USA Today’s NBA A to Z podcast:
We’re not supposed to discuss what goes on in those meetings, but since it was put into the media about how the Lakers feel about a patch on the jersey, I just would clarify that I’m in complete support of having that opportunity. I think my concern was just kind of the thought process behind it and really what would be best for all of our partners, all of our sponsors, rights-holders, players. It affects a lot of people.
So, I guess for it to come to out that I was against the patch on the jersey, that isn’t the case. And so I appreciate the opportunity to clarify that I’m in complete support of it. It was more about considering all the different aspects of a decision like that.
It sounds as if Buss was against the particular proposal, not the idea of advertising on jerseys. Quite possibly, the revenue split was the hangup.
If the NBA sells a single uniform sponsorship league-wide, how should the money generated be split among owners? Small-market teams would push for everyone getting an equal slice. Large-market teams, like the Lakers, would support allocating the money based on reach.
Both sides will probably eventually meet somewhere in the middle, but it’s difficult to determine the exact formula.
Combined with the previous report that most owners support uniform advertising, Buss’ statement eliminates one possibility of a team objecting on principle. Do any teams completely against jersey ads, no matter how the revenue is divided, even exist?
It appears increasingly likely NBA commissioner Adam Silver was right in his assessment of uniform advertisements: They’re inevitable.