In a bid to increase sales of NBA jerseys, the league has announced that more teams will wear experimental “short-sleeve” uniforms next season.
An NBA source reportedly told Darren Rovell that “as many as five teams” will adopt a short-sleeve jersey as an alternate uniform for the 2013-2014 NBA season, ESPN reports. The five teams will reportedly wear the alternate jerseys for as many as 12 games during the season.
“We are interested in doing more short-sleeve jerseys when it makes sense,” Patrik Nilsson, president of Adidas North America, told ESPN. Adidas is the company responsible for the production of NBA uniforms.
On Wednesday, Nilsson added that Adidas hopes to concurrently increase the popularity of its jerseys while developing an innovative game uniform for NBA players, ESPN reports. While every NBA team was given the option of adding a short-sleeve jersey, the league has yet to identify which teams have decided to do so.
Sal LaRocca, the NBA’s executive vice president of global merchandizing, claims that the short-sleeve jersey was meant to offer a new uniform option to consumers, though the new design is not expected to outsell traditional tank-top jerseys. “We know that more men are comfortable wearing T-shirts than tank tops,” LaRocca told ESPN. “So the idea that part of our consumer base would be interested in wearing a jersey with sleeves makes sense."
During the 2012-2013 NBA season, the Golden State Warriors became the first franchise to adopt the short-sleeve jersey, wearing the innovative design for three games. However, the look didn’t necessarily meet the approval of Warriors star Stephen Curry, who called the uniforms “ugly.”
“You’re on national TV, NBATV, wearing our ugly jerseys,” Curry told reporters after the short-sleeve look’s February debut, according to Sports Illustrated. “I shouldn’t have said that [about the jerseys], but it’s just one of those things where there’s a lot of attention on us, and we didn’t show. Regardless of how NBA players feel about the new look, fans can expect to see a lot more of it next season.