Saturday, July 21, 2012

Brought to you by...

"...due to a binding endorsement contract that stipulates I mention PowerAde at each grace..."
- Ricky Bobby, Talladega Nights

I know what you are thinking but this may be where we are headed.  

The NBA yesterday approved the usage of advertising on their uniforms going forward and it has me thinking where this will ultimately go.  The league has approved a 2-inch-by-2-inch patch that will be placed on the shoulder of the team uniforms.  It could happen as early as this coming season. 

They are hoping to generate close to $100 million by selling the "ad space" on their uniforms for all 30 teams.  The NBA has a group of corporate sponsors, of which they will decide, will be added.  The teams won't have the ability to sell the space no matter the amount of money offered to an alternative sponsor.  The league has a relationship with Adidas who makes the jerseys and will also be putting the ad chosen on their jerseys sold for retail.  Seriously!?!  Do consumers of their favorite players jersey really want the logo of a sponsor on their jersey too?   That is what beer league softball uniforms look like.  Plus the players these days are so inked up having anything else distracting could lead to seizures. 

The "Birdman" would surely welcome additional swag to his jersey!

For this instance lets imagine a Chicago Bulls uniform with a patch on the shoulder of say, Toyota.  Or the classic Celtics unis with a patch like Lamisil.  A patch selling Athlete's Foot Remedy!  I just don't like it.  I am a purest in liking to see the uniform stand for something on its own.  Think for a second if "The Logo" himself Jerry West was playing with that on his jersey.  It just takes away from the image we all  have grown up with and having in our minds of that classic look.

 Another logo on THE logo???  Blasphemy! 

MLB's Bud Selig was asked yesterday, on the Waddle & Silvy Show, his opinion and he said, "You learn to never say never, but you know, with us (MLB), uniforms are really important.  They're history."  He also mentioned seeing a Cub uniform and remembering what it was like as a kid.  This is what I feel when I think the uniforms should stand alone.  I understand this is a business but where does it stop.  It is a VERY slippery slope they are embarking upon.  

The patch on the shoulder today.  The full length leg on the shorts tomorrow.  Designing a logo throughout their numbers on the jersey in the future.  It obviously all starts somewhere and then it moves to tweaking where to locate other ads.  Sports like NASCAR and the EURO soccer leagues have been loading up their cars, drivers, and jerseys with ads for years and you can hardly tell what's there.  It all becomes a jumbled mess.  The only thing they haven't put a logo on is the windshield.  Oh wait, I think I saw that once before too.

"He sold the windshield!"

It also brings up a problem with the players who will be wearing the jerseys.  What if the corporate sponsorship the league decides to add to their jersey is Coke and the player wearing the jersey represents Pepsi?  I can already see the player covering up the patch with black tape to make HIS corporate sponsor happy.  Don't tell me that won't cause a problem of epic proportions.  We all know money talks.

The NBA will certainly generate revenue in this regard as businesses will flock to have their name anywhere that millions of people will see it.  This league that has salaries in the multimillion dollar ranges for its elite players needs to make up the difference somewhere in an economy that is suffering right now.  And in order to keep up with the Joneses you have to be willing to change.

They have sold arena names and every part of the game is sponsored in some way so why not this way too.  They will probably sell the court and painted area someday also.  Heck, the White Sox changed the start of their games to 7:11pm for their corporate sponsor 7/11 a few years back.  Genius if you think about it.  You have to keep up and think of new ways too sell your brand. 
As Ricky Bobby learned from his daddy, "If you ain't first your last."
And in advertising that is always true. 


  1. Do you as a rule write only for this website or you do that for other Internet or offline networks?

    1. I currently only write for this website.