NBA committee seeks feedback for corporate logos on jerseys

In order to address the disparity in market size and the value larger cities would have compared to smaller cities, the league is proposing that 50 percent of the money from uniform ad deals would be kept by teams, while the other 50 percent would go into a revenue-sharing pot.

Deals would be restricted to three years, much like the sideline floor sponsorship deals the league approved in 2013.

An NBA spokesman declined to comment on the memo.

If the board ends up approving the proposal, the NBA would be the first major U.S. sports league to put ads on regular game-day jerseys.

The league first started discussing the subject of ads on jerseys in 2009, the year the WNBA agreed to allow the practice. That was also the year the NFL started allowing teams to sell sponsor patches on practice jerseys.

In 2011, Adam Silver, then deputy commissioner of the NBA, suggested that selling ads on jerseys could, conservatively, be worth $100 million a year, but momentum was halted as television networks expressed concern that they would pay huge rights fees, only to be ambushed by brands that didn’t advertise on their air putting ads on jerseys.

Recent discussions about ads on jerseys have involved the networks themselves. This weekend, players will wear a Kia logo on the upper left chest of the All-Star Game jersey. The spot was sold to Kia for the 2016 and 2017 All-Star Games by Turner, as a stipulation in the network’s new TV deal with the league.

As with the Kia logo on this weekend’s uniforms, the new proposal features the future logo that teams can sell on the upper left chest. The proposed size of the logo is 2 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches.

Players will share in the revenue generated, as the money gained will be considered part of Basketball Related Income, which is factored into the salary cap.

One possible issue would be if a major star has an endorsement deal with a brand and a competitor pays to put its ad on that player’s team’s jersey. Nike spokesmen already wear the league’s Adidas jerseys, but it would be a bit different if it’s another category.

This is not unprecedented, however. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is State Farm’s biggest spokesperson, but he is forced to give news conferences in front of an American Family Insurance banner because the company is the team’s official insurance provider.

And on the seventh day, an Eastern Conference finals opponent finally emerged for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

After a weeklong layoff, the Cavs were finally able to rejoice in the knowledge of what team they will be facing in Tuesday’s Game 1 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN) following the Toronto Raptors’ decisive 116-89 victory over the Miami Heat in Game 7 of their second round series on Sunday.

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