Since 2017 the NBA has gone the way of NASCAR, and soccer clubs, with the selling of ad space on their jerseys. I can’t argue with the revenue that the advertisement has brought in, but for nostalgic reasons, I hate to see one of the Big 3 North American professional sports leagues go the way of the amateurish looking uniforms of the above-mentioned soccer clubs, and NASCAR driver. There was always something sacred to me about the uniforms not being monetized.
The argument can be made that the NBA is evolving and just taking advantage of an opportunity that presented itself. Those deals total around $137 million for the 21 teams that participated (listed below), which equals about $ 6.5 per team. That’s not exactly chump change, but by pro sports standards that’s probably their laundry budget for the year.
It probably won’t be long before the remaining 9 teams jump on the bandwagon, and get their own deals. After all, the NBA jersey is a very visible item that’s seen by millions of people each night. I think over the next 5 years that $137 million will probably double.
Observing the popularity of tattoos with today’s athletes, I wonder if it’s too far fetched to see players striking their own deal with a sponsor to deface their body with a national brand. I’m sure that would be a legal battle between the NBA and the NBPA for the ages.
Teams with corporate sponsorship for jersey branding:
Atlanta Hawks – Sharecare
Boston Celtics – General Electric
Brooklyn Nets – Infor
Charlotte Hornets – LendingTree
Cleveland Cavaliers – Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company
Dallas Mavericks – 5Miles
Denver Nuggets – Western Union[
Detroit Pistons – Flagstar Bank
Golden State Warriors – Rakuten
Los Angeles Clippers – Bumble
Los Angeles Lakers – Wish
Miami Heat – Ultimate Software
Milwaukee Bucks – Harley-Davidson
Minnesota Timberwolves – Fitbit
New Orleans Pelicans – Zatarain’s
New York Knicks – Squarespace
Orlando Magic – Walt Disney World Resort
Philadelphia 76ers – StubHub
Sacramento Kings – Blue Diamond Growers
Toronto Raptors – Sun Life Financial
Utah Jazz – Qualtrics
Temas without corporate sponsorship for jersey branding:
Oklahoma City Thunder
San Antonio Spurs