The NBA announced Friday (April 15) that it will allow teams to sell a corporate logo on their jerseys.
The league’s board of governors has approved a three-year pilot program, which will launch in the 2017-18 NBA season.
Teams will be allowed to sell a 2.5-inch-by-2.5-inch space on jerseys. The NBA is the first of the four major U.S. sports leagues to put ads on regular game-day jerseys.
Nike will take over as the league’s official uniform and apparel provider next season, and the Swoosh logo will appear on every jersey, though the Michael Jordan-owned Charlotte Hornets will carry the familiar Jumpman logo from Jordan Brand.
“It’s my hope, independent of whatever additional revenues are generated through this patch program, that the greatest impact will be in this amplifying effect of companies choosing to associate directly with a team jersey, then going out and promoting that relationship to the largest market,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.
The NBA believes the program will bring in around $100 million in addition revenue each year. It’s small, in comparison to the $7 billion in overall revenues the league is projecting for 2017-18.
Silver also adds that there’s “enormous uncertainty” around the patch program, which is why the NBA chose a three-year period for the initial launch. Fans aren’t exactly thrilled about the ad program.
“There’s a reason this is a pilot program,” Silver said. “We listen very closely to our fans.”