Photo: Nike, Inc.
Ads are coming to NBA jerseys and the reaction by most fans has been one of disgust.But a closer look at how much some companies are already spending on jersey ads shows that this will be a huge revenue stream for American teams. And more revenue may ultimately mean less money out of the pockets of fans and better products on the fields and courts.
In the English Premier League, revenue from shirt sponsorships is up 25% in the past year, according to SportingIntelligence.com. Here is a look at how much top teams will be paid during the 2012-13 season by their shirt sponsors (sponsor is in parentheses)
- Manchester United (Aon) – $31 million
- Liverpool (Standard Chartered) – $31 million
- Manchester City (Etihad) – $31 million
- Sunderland (Invest in Africa ) – up to $31 million
- Chelsea (Samsung) – $21 million
Of course, the English soccer teams wear their sponsors as the main graphic across the chest of the jersey. So they might command more than the NBA will with their 2-inch-squared ads. Then again, NBA teams are on television twice as much, and are in some cases just as global as the top English soccer teams.
And if the NBA teams can generate an extra $20-30 million in ad revenue, the teams may be less inclined to price gouge the fans. And they may be more inclined to spend money to improve their rosters.
In the end, the sanctity of the jersey may be compromised, but there may also be something to gain here besides just fatter pockets for the owners.
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