Under a three-year pilot program beginning with the 2017-18 season, NBA teams can sell a 2.5-inch by 2.5-inch patch on the front-left area of the team's game jersey. Each team will be responsible for selling its own ads and teams can opt out of the program.
Teams will keep 50 percent of the revenue generated by their individual patch sales, with the remaining 50 percent being shared equally among the league’s 30 teams.. Adam Silver said the league expects to generate $100 million in revenue from the sponsorships.
So what can we expect from the Nets? No one is saying, but Brett Yormark has been a major proponent of the ad sales and the Nets were the first NBA team to take advantage of a league program to sell patches on practice jerseys.
Back in 2009, when the Nets were still in New Jersey, they sold the rights to their practice jerseys and coaches shirts--and threw in naming rights for their East Rutherford practice facility as well. It was six figure, two-year deal. The patches, advertising PNY Technologies, were larger than what the NBA is permitting on game jerseys.
And let's not forget who was president of NASCAR when they festooned driver's jackets and the cars themselves with as many logos as could be fit.
"Obviously, it’s a league decision, but as someone who spent seven years at NASCAR, I know the value of putting a brand on the playing field and the uniform, so it is certainly something I would support," said Yormark back in March 2012. "You can monetize this in ways you can’t monetize any other kind of marketing inventory. And, of course, we’re in the No. 1 market in the country, so ..."
Not everyone is enamored of the move. The NBA is the first major professional sport to sell such ads, but have for years permitted ads on the game jerseys of both D-League and WNBA teams.
Paul Lukas of Uni-Watch, which tracks pro teams uniforms, is opposed. He wrote on ESPN...
The debate on this issue usually boils down to some variation of, "The owners are driven by shameless greed," versus, "You can't stop free enterprise, especially when there's that much money on the table." I've staked out my own turf in that debate (hint: I came up with the hashtag #NoUniAds), but we've all heard those arguments many times before and there's little need to rehash them now.
Instead, I want to talk about brand loyalty, because there's a sad irony at work here. The NBA, by adding corporate brands to its uniforms, runs the risk of ruining one of the most audacious examples of brand loyalty the world has ever seen.
What ads might appear on a Nets jersey? Perhaps the team would sell ads to a local New York company or include jersey ads in a larger sponsorship deal. The Nets have a year to make a deal, but you can be sure there will be a lot of publicity when it happens.