Prepare yourself for changes to the jerseys of your favorite team in the Association starting in the 2013-2014 campaign, as “NBA.com” reported that the NBA Board Of Governors, will most likely agree to allow “Advertising Patches” on team jerseys. Although, a vote will not take place until later this year, the website reported that the proposal seemed to be received positively by the board and will likely be approved. The patch would measure 2 ½ inches-by-2 ½ inches and be placed right above the heart, Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver believes the Association will warmly embrace the concept. Silver told reporters “My sense is that every team would do this in some form.”
We are all too aware that the NBA is first a business; if any of us had forgotten, the Lockout that kept the season from starting this past season, was a bracing reminder. Just like any other business, the NBA is constantly looking for ways to generate new revenue, however putting logos for your favorite soft drink, or gasoline on player’s jerseys, strikes me as going far past the line of over-commercialization of the game.
While I realize that other professional sports have had advertising on their uniforms, such as Nascar and soccer among others, perhaps because I do not personally follow these sports, it has never really been a sore-point with me. That also may have a lot to do with why I hold the NBA, MLB and the NFL to a higher standard than I do those other sports. I would like to believe that those three games are above being walking billboards for the highest bidder.
If approved, the advertising patch would also be on replica NBA jerseys, so that means that any fans donning a Kobe Bryant, or Kevin Durant jersey, would also be a form of free advertisement for some company. That would certainly be a lot of bang for the buck, for any company that won the advertising rights to a franchise’s uniforms.
If the patch proves to be as much of a revenue generator as the Association expects it to be, how long will it be until they approve a second patch? Once you have crossed that line in the sand, there is no telling how far you will go; until there could be barely room enough on the jersey for the team’s logo and the player’s name and number.
A few years ago, MLB had planned to promote one of the “Spiderman” movies, by having the movie’s logo emblazoned on second base in every ballpark in baseball for one day. There was such a backlash from the media as well as the fans, that MLB pulled the plug on the event, the sport has never tried to cross that bridge since that ill-thought idea fell through. Hopefully, this new plan by the Association, will offend fans and the media’s sensibilities, as much as the plan that the MLB proposed, and keep advertisements off of NBA team jerseys.