NBA creeps closer to logos on jerseys
Board of governors okays a proposal for a small shoulder patch
July 23, 2012
The NBA is poised to join the ranks of Major League Soccer, NASCAR and its sister league, the WNBA, in putting logos on its uniforms.
Uniform logos have been rumored for years, and now the league has moved another step closer to approving the move.
During an NBA board of governors meeting yesterday, the jersey logo proposal received unanimous support and was sent on to the owners' planning committee, which will work up guidelines for the program.
That could be approved in September, and the logos then would make their debut for the 2013-'14 season, according to CBSSports.com.
The logos would be on patches measuring 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches and appear on the left shoulder of the uniform.
The decision comes at a time when the NBA is search for additional revenue streams. Roughly two thirds of the league's teams are losing money, and last year's lockout, while not ultimately as long as the 1999 one, cost the owners hundreds of millions of dollars.
The idea of adding logos to uniforms picked up momentum earlier this year, when mockups of the proposed uniforms were displayed at the spring owners meeting.
Though logos on team uniforms are common in other countries, and have already been employed by some smaller sports leagues in the United States, the NBA would be the first of the so-called big four leagues to adopt the uniform sponsorships.
Major League Baseball toyed with the idea more than a decade ago but never adopted it. And the NFL and NHL do not have any logo patches.
The revenue earned from the patches would vary by team, depending on their popularity and television exposure.
An advertiser would pay more for, say, the Los Angeles Lakers, a top team that hails from a big TV market and gets lots of national coverage, than, say, the less-popular Toronto Raptors.
Sports marketing experts say that the value to top teams could be up to $10 million to $15 million per year.
Years ago such a decision might have inspired protests from fans. But sponsorship deals have infringed on so many parts of life in recent years, from schools to stadiums to airports, that jersey logos were seen as inevitable since long before yesterday's vote.
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