NBA close to allowing ads on players' jerseys

NBA close to allowing ads on players' jerseys
Will we soon be seeing ads on NBA uniforms? (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

National Basketball Association officials on Thursday said they are closer to allowing small advertising patches on team jerseys, a move that could come as soon as the 2013-2014 season.

League officials, including Commissioner David Stern and Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, discussed the development after the annual NBA Board of Governors meeting in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Sun has the details in this report, but here's how it's supposed to work:

Silver said the ads would appear as small, 2½-inch-by-2½-inch patches, most likely along the left shoulder. That would require moving the NBA logo to the other side of the shirt.

The ads would also be present on replica jerseys sold at retail, which could displace the logo of the jersey's manufacturer, Portland-based Adidas America Inc., though details on that were less clear. Adidas' logo isn't present on the front of game-worn NBA jerseys.

The Board of Governors didn't vote on the issue Thursday. That's expected to come in September. But Silver, according to the Sun, said during a news conference late Thursday that "my sense is that every team is in favor of doing this in some form."

The program would bring in around $100 million in new revenue to the league, but it would also make it the first of the nation's top four sports leagues — the NBA, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League — to permit advertising on its gameday uniforms.

Major League Soccer, whose uniforms are also made by Adidas America, adheres to the long-standing practice of allowing ads on the fronts of soccer jerseys, a sport in which matches run 90-plus minutes with little opportunity for commercial breaks.

The move is already reviling uniform purists such as Paul Lukas at Uni-Watch.com. On Friday Lukas launched a Twitter campaign urging his followers to send tweets to the NBA under the hashtag #NoUniAds and send e-mails to the league voicing their opposition.

"This is a genuine red-alert crisis, people — even if you don’t care about the NBA (I don’t much care about it myself), this move would open the door for uniform advertising in the other Big Four leagues," Lukas wrote. "The threat is real, and the time to respond to it is now."

The Portland Business Journal is a news partner with KATU.com