advertising on player uniforms is not an alien concept globally, or in
US minor leagues, on golfers, the fronts of virtually every soccer
jersey, and of course every aspect of car racing, the four "major"
sports in the United States have kept their gear free of ads other than
than the logo of the manufacturer. For years, we've wondered if or when
that might change, as ads found their way onto the NHL boards and ice,
walls and video boards in stadiums, almost even the bases in baseball
when Spiderman 2 came out.
Now, it appears the first shoe may soon drop, as
reports are emerging that the NBA Board of Governors may allow a small
advertising patch to adorn a team's jersey, starting in the 2013-2014
Paul Lukas of the great Uni-Watch site is
understandably not thrilled at the prospect, and he's posted a call to
action in the hopes of derailing it. At Uni-Watch, he links to varying
reports on the possible ads, which could be either 2" x 2" or 2.5" x
2.5" and located just above the "heart" above the left side of the
I'm not sure there's any stopping it at this point,
but I agree with Lukas that it could be a major tipping point in North
American sports apparel. Once the ads come, they'll be here to stay, and
they'll adorn all replica jerseys and some other fan gear, as we
recently saw when the Union added its first apparel sponsor, Bimbo. If
the NBA adopts, who will be next?
David Stern is quoted by ESPN as saying that the
league could add $100 million in revenue by allowing the advertising,
and deputy commissioner Adam Silver says his sense is that every team in
the league will adopt the advertising in some form.
So be prepared for jersey advertising in the not to
distant future, Sixers fans. Maybe get the logo-less versions while you
can, if you want to keep your look classic and ad-free. Or, as Lukas suggests and provides instructions on, let your voice be heard. It worked with Spiderbases...