Although we sometimes like to believe that professional sports are all about passion and competition, there are often painful reminders that it is a business. A very major business move may be on the way in basketball.
In another income-generating move that could generate $100 million in revenues, the NBA is planning to put small sponsorship patches on the shoulder area of team jerseys starting the 2013-14 season.
"I think it's fair to say that our teams were excited about the opportunity and think there is potentially a big opportunity in the marketplace to put a two by two patch on the shoulder of our jerseys," deputy commissioner Adam Silver said after emerging from the NBA Board of Governors' annual summer meeting.
Silver said there was virtually unanimous support for adopting some form of jersey ads, like teams in other sports do, including car racing, golf, soccer and even the WNBA.
He said the matter was referred to the owners' planning committee, chaired by Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck, and guidelines are expected to be approved in September, in time for the 2013-14 season.
"My sense is that every team is in favor of doing this in some form," Silver said.
Silver said the sponsorship patches would be placed on the left shoulder of the jersey, where the NBA logo currently is located and would appear on retail jerseys, as well.
"League officials have already consulted with jersey manufacturer Adidas, and early indications are that sponsorship patches would not harm retail jersey sales," Silver said.
"We've been studying this fairly intensively over the past year." "It would be something new in the states, so we want to make sure we approach this as a very methodical and deliberate process," he added.
Horizon Media said in a study that the NBA could generate $100 million yearly revenue through advertisement patches. The study estimated that the Lakers could bring in more than $4 million a year from such ads, while the Knicks and Celtics would generate nearly $3 million each.
The additional revenue would go into the overall pool of basketball-related income (BRI), 50 percent of which NBA players receive as their salaries.