Advertisements on jerseys are coming. You cannot stop them, I cannot stop them. Nobody can. The NBA jersey as we know it is going to change.
We need to distract ourselves from the Dwight Howard thing for a while -- mostly because nothing new is really happening. The Magic schedule comes out tonight and the 2013 season will begin. If only we could figure that Dwight Howard thing out.
So it is time to accept this inevitability that our jerseys will have some type of advertisement on them. There is just too much money on the line. So NBA jerseys and replicas (yes, you will be able to buy a jersey with the ad on it) will be dipping into the pool.
To be clear, your favorite jerseys will not be changing too much. The NBA is only allowing 2.5-by-2.5 inch patches on the upper part of the jersey. Nothing too intrusive. It is a little piece of revenue that several teams will find useful. It cannot hurt.
The ads will be coming for the 2013-14 season and are expected to draw in $100 million per season. If not more -- nobody is sure exactly how much these tiny ads will go for. But deputy commissioner Adam Silver suspects just about every team will take advantage of this new source of revenue.
I would certainly suspect the Magic are going to be one of the early adopters. After all, Orlando was one of the few teams to secure sponsorship for their practice jerseys -- even if it was Rich DeVos' Amway providing the sponsorship.
There will be plenty of advertisers looking for these golden advertising spots. In American sports, at least, few athletes are as identified with their jerseys as basketball players. It might be an easy way to get a bunch of McDonald's logos out in the world if you attach it to a LeBron James jersey. Those things still sell like hotcakes.
Who would advertise on Orlando's jerseys? Amway is the obvious answer. There are sillier answers and other options too. Jake Chapman of OrlandoMagic.com went through some of the sillier options available to each team.
More importantly, what would these uniforms potentially look like? Glad you asked! I have needed to work on my photoshopping skills. Check after the jump for some mock-ups of Magic jerseys with ads (inclusion in this project does not represent an endorsement of any of these companies)!
The first one is the most obvious: Amway.
Owner Rich DeVos is the chairman for Amway and he has aggressively advertised Amway throughout many sports. Amway is a presenting sponsor for the Detroit Red Wings, lends its name to the Magic's arena and are the featured sponsor on San Jose Earthquakes jerseys.
There is no reason to believe that this will not be what the Magic jersey looks like in a few years:
I think you can see how unintrusive this new advertisement rule is. I mean, I had to pixelate the image just so you can see it (and I am sorry that it is not even with the NBA logo, but you get the idea). Could you live with that as a purest fan? Absolutely! I can. It is much better than, say this:
Again, apologies for my awful Photoshopping skills. And honestly, now that I look at it, I am not completely offended by a full advertisement on the jersey front. Maybe I am watching too much soccer and I have gotten used to it.
The point of all this is advertisements on American jerseys are coming... and they will not be that bad. You just better hope your team gets a sponsor you are proud to wear around. Amway is a great company, but has plenty of its own problems that might make fans a little hesitant to go around wearing the brand.
Who else might advertise on Magic jerseys in 2014? Throw Disney in the mix (why not?). And I love Jake Chapman's idea for 4Rivers, but that is mostly because I too want free bar-b-cue (PLEASE!!!!!).
What do you think? Are you OK with advertisements on jerseys? Is what will happen in 2014 a fair compromise for the owners and traditionalists?