San Antonio Spurs Approved To Use Ads On Uniforms In 2017
By Andre Key
The NBA Board of Governors have decided to move forward with their plans of placing ads on NBA uniforms.
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The process has been slowly been tested and space has been made over the past few seasons to get ready for the inevitable change. The league tested Kia ads on NBA All Star uniforms, and the reception went as smooth as expected.
NBA owners approved a three-year pilot program that permits all NBA franchises, including the San Antonio Spurs, to sell 2.5 inch patches of corporate logo space on the front of player jerseys, in the left shoulder area.
The logos will appear on the jersey tops starting in the 2017-18 season, and the patches can be adjusted to fit specific shapes of the paying company’s ad. The NBA will not however sell space on the uniforms, because the choice has been left to each team individually.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver stated recently that selling ad space can rake in an additional $100 million in revenue for owners. Silver also released a statement regarding ads in general:
Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams and the additional investment will help grow the game in exciting new ways,. We’re always thinking about innovative ways the NBA can remain competitive in a global marketplace, and we are excited to see the results of this three-year trial
Logos and sponsorships are not new in sports, and NBA teams are one of the few major sports leagues that have not currently used sponsored ads on uniforms.
The San Antonio Spurs parent company, Spurs Sports & Entertainment, also owns a pro soccer team, the San Antonio FC, which has a large Toyota logo on the front of its team uniforms.
It is unclear whether the Spurs will take advantage of new pact to include the logos to their uniforms.
HEB, VP Cory Basso gave his thoughts on whether they have plans to pursue advertising via the San Antonio Spurs.
We are very happy with our current branding in arena, our community partnerships with the Spurs organization and players, and our Spurs commercials, So I doubt we will pursue adding a logo to their jerseys.
Adding ads to the uniforms isn’t uncharted in sports, but it is for the NBA. The league began making changes to team uniforms about two years ago, and eventually moved the NBA logo to the back of the jersey, to clear space on the front for ads, although it wasn’t presented as such.
There is the chance that this is just the beginning of seeing larger and more numerous corporate sponsored logos on NBA uniforms, depending on how other NBA partners react to the implementation.
Direct competition and companies vying for a larger brand presence on television may cause the price of the new ads to balloon in the coming years.
Many fans are not thrilled with the idea of ads on jerseys although it won’t stop the wheels that are already in motion, but the NBA won’t sell replica uniforms with ads stitched on.
Ready or not, the ads are coming to the NBA.