The NBA Will Start On-Jersey Advertising In 2017


Look, I get the slippery slope argument of advertising on jerseys, and I don’t like it either. But I can’t get worked up over a 2.5 x 2.5 patch that’ll look as big as a quarter on an NBA player. And at the end of the day, the next person who actually changes the channel because of a uniform will the first.

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ESPN  —  The NBA announced Friday that the board of governors has approved a three-year pilot program to allow teams to sell a corporate logo on their jerseys.  Teams can now start pitching companies on buying a 2.5-by-2.5-inch space as the NBA becomes the first of the four major U.S. sports leagues to put ads on regular game-day jerseys. NBA teams had been wearing advertising logos on practice jerseys.  The first year of the program will be for 2017-18, which also will be the first season that Nike makes the uniforms after taking over from Adidas. The Nike swoosh will appear on every jersey.

Look, I get the slippery slope argument of advertising on jerseys. Nobody wants to see the Lakers on the jersey replaced with Lacoste, or the Celtics replaced with Charmin. And yes, the owners already make enough money as it is.

But I just can’t get worked up over this. I just can’t do it.

I get how sacred a uniform can be, and I get why people wouldn’t want to “defile” their teams jerseys with a Tide patch above that classic Heat logo. But are you really gonna boycott watching basketball because of a 2.5 x 2.5 patch? That thing will look no bigger than a quarter on an NBA player, and by the third quarter of the first game you won’t even notice it’s there. I get the argument against it, but the next person who actually changes the channel because of a uniform will the first. It’s the same thing as turning on a game to see a bad alternate jersey. You might call it ugly and freak out over it, but there is a ZERO percent chance you’re going to stop watching because “your eyes can’t look at that jersey anymore” or something like that.

This is where sports are going. This is where all of society is going. Anything and everything that can fit an advertisement on it will have an advertisement on it. Look at the sideline, look at the benches, look under the hoop and on the stanchion and on the backboard. Ads, ads, ads, ads, and more ads. You’ll notice them the first time, and then they fade into the background like everything else. THis move was always going to happen. It was just a matter of time. If the day comes where this affects the actual team name on the jerseys–which I don’t think it will any time soon–then I’ll freak out. But right now I just can’t muster up enough energy to complain about something that was always going to happen. Let me worry about who we have wearing the jersey before I complain about what brand is patched on their chest.

P.S.   I’ll take everything back if this happens. I know this is a joke and all, but that fat, talentless, Ewok-looking, Kazoo-playing motherfucker would absolutely do something like this. Goddammit I hate this franchise.

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