49.9 F
Bellingham
Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Opinion: NBA sells out

basketball
Illustration by Evan Matz.

The NBA is selling out to outside corporations?

In a move third-year NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called “inevitable” at the 2014 IMG World Congress of Sports, the league will begin a three-year pilot program in the 2017-18 season to allow teams to sell a corporate logo on its jerseys. The deal made the NBA the first of the four major U.S. sports leagues—NFL, MLB and NHL being the others—to put ads on regular game-day jerseys.

The advertising space will be sold as a 2.5-by 2.5-inch patch, worn on the upper part of the jersey.

Advertise with the Front

The Philadelphia 76ers became the first team to sell an advertisement on a jersey when they agreed to a three-year, $5 million-per-year contract with StubHub this past May.  The contract also gave the team an option to extend the contract if the NBA continues the pilot, according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.

Following Philadelphia’s deal, the Sports Business Daily Global Journal reported the Sacramento Kings landed the same deal with Blue Diamond Growers.

The NBA should have done without the move. A global giant, the league has plenty of other areas from which it may earn revenue. Teams can build upon corporate relationships by placing advertisements around the arena or on specific items to be sold or given away at games. There is no need to compromise the jerseys themselves with distracting corporate logos or brand names.

However, the deal is not without precedent. The MLS and WNBA prominently feature ad space across the chest of jerseys. These partnerships exist in leagues around the world and provide an impressive source of added revenue. The sports marketing firm Repucom projects teams in Europe’s top soccer leagues generate $930 million from jersey sponsors this year, 13 percent more revenue than last season, according to Forbes.

“There is no need to compromise the jerseys themselves with distracting corporate logos or brand names.”

Juan Mendoza-Tovar

Though there is financial incentive, the NBA shouldn’t continue its pilot program as it damages the average fan’s relationship with their favorite team and ultimately hurts the integrity of the league.

What if your favorite team partnered up with a company you don’t agree with? A scenario like this could pit a fan’s values against allegiances to a team.

Last season, the NBA featured a Kia Motors logo on its All-Star jerseys. The NBA should continue this rather than make sweeping changes affecting each team. Each aspect of All-Star weekend is already intensely commercialized with sponsors ranging from Kia to Verizon, according to the Sports Business Journal. If the league can limit this blatant ad exposure to one weekend, they may be able to salvage some sense of sincerity in its commitment to fans.

As NBA fans, one of the most important elements of the game is the loyalty we have to a specific city or team. The passion we hold for “our” team, is what drives us to watch. It is imperative we voice our displeasure to the NBA. Social media is a powerful platform from which anyone can directly and indirectly communicate with NBA representatives. Let them know a loyal fan base is in peril. While doing so, fans must refrain from purchasing jerseys featuring advertisements.

These actions may help the league realize its fans view selling advertisement space on jerseys as cheapening the NBA’s brand. 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

3,932FansLike
1,241FollowersFollow
5,500FollowersFollow
62SubscribersSubscribe

Trending

WWU Intramurals hosting esports leagues fall quarter

With in-person intramurals still on hold, WWU Intramurals offers free-to-play esports instead.

Sports: Pros and cons of Seahawks’ NFL draft pick Malik McDowell

Why did the Seahawks go after a defensive tackle with their first selection in the 2017 NFL draft? Coming off...

Safety still a concern among local cafes

As reopening continues, local cafes try to keep customers, employees safe. ...

Latest News

Local artist finds joy in creating environmentally conscious art

Owner of ReImagined gives new life to otherwise disregarded materials. Two...

Fines aren’t fine: Why libraries are long overdue for a change

Overdue fees stop the people who need the library the most from using it. A stack...

What do you want to know about local and state elections?

Ballot Drop Box, Exterior Rec Center As Election Day approaches, having up-to-date information about elections is increasingly important....

What do you want to know about local and state elections?

Western Faculty Senate planned its first steps on Black Student Organization demands. Western’s Faculty Senate discussed...

Muting mics not the solution to disruptive debates

The discussion over muting microphones affected the Washington gubernatorial debate.  Picture of two microphones. // Photo by...

More Articles Like This