The NBA added a gold tag to players’ jerseys this season to represent championship-winning franchises. The next addition could be ads.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the practice of selling ad space on team jerseys, common in other international sports, and the WNBA, is likely coming, whether you like it or not.
“Exactly when it’s going to come, I’m not sure, but I do think it’s inevitable in our sport,” Silver said Wednesday from London, according to the Associated Press.
Silver is in England promoting the league ahead of the NBA’s Global Games series game Thursday between the New York Knicks (5-35) and the Milwaukee Bucks (20-19) at O2 Arena.
“Mainly because I travel so much and I see the model work so successfully here. I think that as we look to generate other forms of revenue and also as we listen to the marketplace, the companies that are involved with the NBA want to get closer to the game, want to get closer to our players,” he added.
The NBA made more than $679 million in sponsorship revenue for the 2013-14 season, according to an IEG Research study released last summer. A figure one could only assume will increase if teams open up real estate on player jerseys.
“It’s less a function of purists who oppose it and say the shirt should be clean,” Silver said. “It’s more a function of figuring out the right economic model.”