I didn't watch the NBA Finals Game 7 between the Cavaliers and Warriors. I know, shame on me. Congrats to LeBron and team!
Ok, so in searching for the ads played during the game I came across an interesting story on ESPN.com. Apparently, the NBA board of governors (what?) approved a launch of a 3-year pilot program to allow team to sell corporate ad space on their jerseys.
The space is 2.5" x 2.5" and this move set to launch in the 2017-18 season makes the NBA the first of the four major U.S. sports leagues to have logos on game-day jerseys. This upcoming season also marks a new venture for Nike, in taking over jersey production from Adidas. So, look for the Swoosh.
NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver said, "It is my hope, independent of whatever additional revenues (around $100 million per year) are generated through this patch program, that the greatest impact will be in this amplifying effect of companies choosing to associate directly with a team jersey, then going out and promoting that relationship to the largest market."
This is a win-win move for both the NBA and their sponsors. As the landscape is changing, people are watching less live TV (outside of sports) and skipping the commercials (thanks to your DVR), it makes sense. The NBA will not sell the jerseys with the corporate sponsors patches, but they will keep that option.
Of course, there's the questions about what corporate sponsors will do regarding a player endorsements, etc. But, it will sure to be fun to watch.