Report: New NBA TV deal includes ads on jerseys

We've been waiting for the other shoe to drop on ads on NBA jerseys for some time and with the league's new TV deal, it appears corporate logos on uniforms are closer than ever.

According to the Sports Business Journal, the new deal includes stipulations for advertising rights to NBA jerseys. The NBA moved their own logo from the shoulder to the back of the neck in 2012, clearing space for a rumored 2.5" x 2.5" patch for a sponsor's ad.

From SBJ:

Under the new TV deals, NBA teams maintain the rights to sell the jersey advertising, which has an estimated value ranging from around $800,000 for small-market teams like the Memphis Grizzlies to more than $10 million for large-market teams like the Los Angeles Lakers.

Specifics of the TV buy component have not been hammered out, but the level of spending required by a company sponsoring the jersey would depend on how much exposure the team has on national broadcasts.

This should be no surprise to NBA fans, who have been wary of the league's pending ad space for years. Even the resistance to the sleeved jersey is a debate as much about aesthetics and wearability as it is about adding potential real estate for corporate sponsors.

NBA jerseys as soccer kits concept by designer Emilio Sansolini

Still, this isn't something that is entirely foreign in the world of sports. In the U.S. almost every MLS team has sold corporate space on the front of their uniforms. Internationally, soccer and basketball teams commonly have corporate sponsors, where the logo of the advertiser often holds far greater visual weight than that of the team's own nameplate.

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It's also a bit silly for American fans to have the visceral reaction they have to logos on uniforms. I find the idea to be horrible on some vague, moral level and no doubt that sentiment is felt by many others. But this is also a country where countless people drive around with a license plate holder or painted company logo of the dealership they bought their car from without a thought in the world, a mindless free advertisement and tacit endorsement for an entity most customers despise.

It's more a function of acclimation than anything, where change is scary and indeed, the capitalization on an exceedingly corporate sport has lead to t

he slow evaporation of the mystique of professional basketball.

When logos are finally put on jerseys and a generation grows up knowing it no other way, the resistance will be far weaker and the claim against corporate sponsorship will seem largely alien.

Ads on jerseys are coming. It's probably best to just hope your team partners with Beats By Dre instead of Beets by Dwight.