NBA Jersey Ads: Uniforms Could Soon Become Billboards For Advertisers

NBA jersey ads could soon be on the way as owners and teams look for ways to squeeze a few extra bucks out of their unused jersey space.

The topic of putting advertisements on jerseys first came up a few years ago, but never gained enough steam to get anywhere. That changed this year when a gathering of league presidents met in mid-January, reviving the revenue-producing idea, Hoops World noted.

The idea of NBA jersey ads would involve teams selling a small patch on the front of the jersey, with ads appearing for the first time in the 2014-2015 season.

With manufacturing restrictions and budgets of advertisers set in advance, the NBA jersey ads couldn’t come before then anyway, NBA execs say.

“(Manufacturing) guidelines are what they are, and we could probably work with them, but the people responsible for generating sponsor interest are telling us sponsors have their budgets set 12 months in advance,” NBA executive VP of global merchandising Sal LaRocca told SportsBusiness Journal (via Fox Sports). “So if you’re looking to tap into incremental money, you’d better be planning more than 12 months out.”

The NBA would not be the first sports league to sell jersey space to advertisers. European soccer leagues have already gone that route, with advertisements on jerseys growing larger and larger. And with stadiums already bearing corporate names, this seems like the next logical step for owners looking to increase revenue.

League owners are reportedly interested in voting on NBA jersey ads at a board of governors meeting in April.