NBA Commissioner: Ads On Jerseys Are 'Inevitable'

LeBron with jersey sponsoreAP Photo/J Pat CarterNBA commissioner Adam Silver says jersey sponsorships are ‘inevitable.’

For years, the four major American pro sports leagues have resisted the European trend of putting advertisements on their uniforms, but new NBA commissioner Adam Silver says those days are coming to an end.

Ad Age reports that Silver told attendees of the 2014 IMG World Congress of Sports conference in California that brand logos on player jerseys are “inevitable” and will likely happen in the next five years.

“It just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get that much closer to our fans and to our players,” Silver said. “It gives us an opportunity just to have deeper integration when it comes to those forms of sponsorship. … Increasingly as we see Champion’s League and English Premier League televised in the U.S., I think it’s going to become more acceptable and more commonplace for our fans as well.”

As Silver mentioned, European soccer teams typically have a corporate logo across the chest area of their jerseys, where American clubs usually display their team name or home city. However, most of the teams in the top U.S. soccer league, Major League Soccer, have jersey sponsors.

A representative of the National Football League told Ad Age that while brands approach the league every year, it is not considering allowing its teams to sell jersey sponsorships at this time.

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