Will Basketball Stars Soon Be Walking Ads?

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The people who run the NBA think they can make $100 million a year off ads on jerseys.

Basketball players are no strangers to product endorsements or even appearing in movies. (Remember Space Jam and Steel?)

But now NBA teams are seriously considering ads on team jerseys, according to a Fox Sports report. When league presidents met up last month in Miami, they discussed selling space on the front of team uniforms that could appear in the 2014-2015 season.

They could vote on it in April, but there’s apparently no firm plan yet for how that money would be spent. There are talks of pooling 25 percent of it and splitting it up among teams that need it the most. Of course, those talks have been going on for a long time and the numbers keep changing. That, and perhaps the fact fans don’t really like the idea, is what kept it from happening for the 2013-2014 season.

Outside major league American sports, advertising on jerseys is fairly common. As ESPN pointed out last year, “sports around the world have uniform ads, including Japanese and South American baseball; Canadian football; European hockey; Australian rules football; and the international soccer, cricket and rugby circuits. The Big Four [NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB] ad-free uniforms are like the National League not using the DH: They’re literally the last holdouts on earth.”

Stacy Johnson

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