Earlier this summer, 9 NBA teams announced that they’ll be featuring sponsored patches on their jerseys for the 2017-18 season. And just today, the Golden State Warriors announced their deal to be sponsored by Japanese tech company Rakuten.
According to Darren Rovell and ESPN, the 3-year deal will bring in $20 million a YEAR, and it wasn’t even the highest bid the team received.
Now of course this idea isn’t new at all, since the entire sports industry is flooded with advertising. From the names on the stadium all the way through to signage on bathrooms, seats, foul poles and the ice the athletes skate on.
It’s all money, honey. Petco Park, Guaranteed Rate Field…are you kidding me?!
But, advertising on jerseys is a newer concept for American sports teams. Across the pond, most of the major football (soccer) teams have rocked this look and been bringing in the cash on these deals for a while. And since money fuels literally everything, especially in the sports world, we’re ready to jump on it here in the U.S. with some of our biggest teams.
The NFL has allowed advertisers to be seen on their jerseys, but only practice attire. And now the NBA is skipping over this pleasantry and heading right for the game time jerseys.
The full list of partnerships announced so far are here, excluding the Warriors deal from today.
So, now that you got the background, it’s obviously time for a hot take. Cause everyone is writing about this, but do they have the same opinion as I do? Maybe not.
This is what I say to all of this sponsorship nonsense: you can advertise wherever you want, but don’t touch the jerseys.
Sports jerseys are beautiful. Some teams like the Yankees haven’t modified their jerseys for almost hundred years (well, besides Players Weekend). From my perspective, ads on jerseys will only take away from the beauty of them.
And, of course they considered that people would have complaints, so some teams are integrating the team’s colors with the sponsorship so that it’s less noticeable and goes with the look of the original jersey. This Celtics version with the GE partnership is a great example of what that’ll look like. But I’m still not a fan.
There has to be another solution to make another $20 million a year for your organization, right? I don’t want to be cheering for team Chevrolet or team Bud Light to beat team Walmart. Leave that up to NASCAR.
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