Nike has reached an “agreement in principle” with the NBA to become the sole manufacturer of the league’s uniforms starting with the 2017-18 season, according to Terry Lefton of Sports Business Daily.
This move is not a surprise since it was announced last month that Adidas would not be renewing their deal with the NBA.
Under Armour was considered Nike’s only serious challenge. However, according to the SBJ report, Nike won out in part because of their stronger ability to market and distribute internationally.
More importantly for basketball fans, from an aesthetic point of view, there may be at least one major change to the uniforms as a result of this new deal.
While the details have not been finalised, a source told Lefton that the logos of both Nike (the swoosh) and Nike’s subsidiary Jordan Brand (the Jumpman logo) could appear on NBA jerseys.
This would mark a huge change for a league that has flirted with the idea of adding corporate advertising to uniforms. The Adidas logo currently doesn’t appear on NBA uniforms:
We do have an idea of what the change would look like as the Jumpman logo can be found on some college uniforms.
If Nike does push for the Jumpman logo to be used on jerseys, it will be interesting to see if all NBA teams will use the design based on Michael Jordan or if some teams will be permitted to opt for the swoosh.
While Jordan is revered in the NBA and arguably one of the two or three best players of all time, a team like the New York Knicks may not appreciate having to wear something that appears to honour what was a bitter rival.
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