NBA owners approve ad patches on jerseys for first time

epa05271456 Houston Rockets player Jason Terry (C) goes to the basket in the second half of game three of the NBA Western Conference first round basketball game between Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets at Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, USA, 21 April 2016. The winner of this series goes on to play either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Portland Trail Blazers in round two. EPA/LARRY W. SMITH CORBIS OUT

NATIONAL Basketball Association owners approved advertising on uniform jerseys for the first time in league history, according to the NBA. A three-year pilot programme for the ads, in the form of 2.5-by-2.5-inch patches, will begin in the 2017-2018 season, which coincides with Nike replacing Adidas as the league’s official uniform supplier.

“Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says in a statement. “The additional investment will help grow the game in exciting new ways,”

The ads will generate about US$150mil in total revenue per year, according to people familiar with league and team operations. Teams will keep half of what the ads generate, and the other half will be put into a revenue-sharing pool. Successful teams that make more national TV appearances – and teams with bigger international audiences – can make more money from a company seeking to put its logo on a uniform.

The league has been moving toward advertising on uniforms for years. Teams in Major League Soccer and the WNBA already have company logos on their uniforms, similar with those in the English Premier League.

Major League Baseball has allowed uniform advertising during some games overseas, and National Football League teams have had ads on practice jerseys. — Bloomberg

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