By Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek
October 5, 2012
All indications are that the NBA will be the first of the Big Four U.S. sports leagues to put corporate logos on game jerseys. Having already received support from the league’s Board of Governors, and pending a vote from owners, sponsors will be able to buy ad space on jerseys beginning with the 2013 season. In the interim, team and league officials are working to determine who will be responsible for selling the sponsorships and how the revenue will be split. To maximize revenue, the NBA could make patches part of a more comprehensive sponsorship package for teams to sell.
The league experimented with patches during this year’s NBA Finals, as the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder each wore a 2.5-inch-by-2.5-inch Finals logo on their jerseys. Using those games as a sample size, sponsors collectively could generate $160 million from TV exposure over an entire season, according to sponsorship measurement firm Joyce Julius & Associates. With the NBA expecting a $100 million per year windfall from selling ad space on jerseys, it may be only a matter of time until other leagues follow suit.