Is it wrong for the NBA to put ads on jerseys?
via AP

Is it wrong for the NBA to put ads on jerseys?

#LoveNBAJerseyAds
#HateNBAJerseyAds
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The NBA season is in full swing, and fans are seeing something new on some jerseys—advertisements. To bring in more revenue, the NBA is selling small advertising space on the front of jerseys. The size of the ad is not gaudy, and if it brings in more money to compensate these great athletes, the NBA should continue to do it. Still, doing this looks like a greedy attempt to get more money and turns human beings into walking billboards. What do you think? 🏀

THE VOTES ARE IN!
#LoveNBAJerseyAds
45.5%
#HateNBAJerseyAds
54.5%

None of the major four sports has sold ad space on their jerseys—until now. The NBA has over a dozen teams with ads on jerseys. Unlike soccer, the name of the team is still the biggest image on the jersey, while the sponsored logo is on a small square on the front. For the money it could generate, it's worth the 2.5 square inches.

As the great poet Mase once said: "Mo' money, mo' problems." The NBA has successfully sold ad space on their jerseys, a first in any of the four major sports in the United States. While getting that revenue is great for the NBA, who else does it really help? It sure doesn't help the fans, who have an eyesore to look at. Ethan Sherwood Strauss from Bleacher Report gives the low down:

More cash means a bigger yacht for Blazers owner Paul Allen, another TV channel for Mark Cuban, and perhaps another beach condo for your favorite player. What it will not equal is any tangible benefit to you, the fan. Increased revenue will not compel any money-interested human to share said revenue with strangers. A lockout will be just a likely as ever before, maybe even moreso. As the recent NFL lockout shows us, increased profits might amplify, not decrease greed.

The NBA announced a record nine-year, $24 billion television deal with Turner and ESPN/ABC. Part of that deal was jersey ad rights that could massively benefit the NBA. John Ourand and John Lombardo with Sports Business Daily summarizes the situation:

Under the new TV deals, NBA teams maintain the rights to sell the jersey advertising, which has an estimated value ranging from around $800,000 for small-market teams like the Memphis Grizzlies to more than $10 million for large-market teams like the Los Angeles Lakers.

The NBA put company logos on a 2.5-inch square on the front of a jersey—it didn't ban dunks. Everyone needs to calm down. Clem from Bar Stool Sports explains:

I have been seeing a lot of hate about this over the last year or so and I really don’t get it. People are acting like the NBA is raising the rims two feet and banning the three point shot or something. People that constantly complain about non-intrusive ads are the absolute worst...As long as NBA jerseys don’t look like a NASCAR jacket, things will be fine.

Teams are raking the cash with jersey ads. Why not add a revenue stream?

The NBA is only allowing a 2.5-square-inch square on the front of the jersey to display sponsor logos, but where does it stop? If the ads are successful, the NBA will want to add more space, to include more companies and get more revenue.

Pretty soon, NBA fans will be looking at a NASCAR-esque jersey with dozens of company logos instead of the team name fans actually care about.

Allowing jersey ads is a slippery slope to having a team jersey become a corporate billboard. The NBA needs to stop being greedy, and end this disgraceful addition.

The worst part of any sport is the business side. Everything is about the bottom line, and there is nothing pure about the sport. Yes, the NBA needs to compensate players a fair wage, and organizations need to make money, but there is a certain level of capitalism that is acceptable before the sport is poisoned by greed. Jersey ads are that level.

Basketball is supposed to be about incredible athletes performing feats no one thought possible because they love the game. It isn't muddled by a profit margin or corporate interests. The NBA was fine without jersey ads before, and they should continue that trend now.

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