The NBA has become the first of the four major sports (NFL, MLB, and NHL) in the United States of America to allow sponsors onto their jerseys.
NBA said that from the beginning of the 2017-18 season, as part of a three-year pilot program, a sponsorship patch - approximately 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches and one that will be adjusted to fit the dimensions of each sponsor’s logo - will be located opposite the Nike logo on the front left of the game jerseys.
All 30 teams will be responsible for selling their own jersey sponsorships, but it's another opportunity for teams to make money, and according to the BBC: "Experts predict the deals will generate more than $4m (£2.8m) a year."
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“Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams and the additional investment will help grow the game in exciting new ways,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on NBA.com.
“We’re always thinking about innovative ways the NBA can remain competitive in a global marketplace, and we are excited to see the results of this three-year trial.”
For bigger teams in the league, this new sponsorship deal might not change their revenue much, but for the smaller teams in the league, it could make a huge difference. Sponsors will be drawn in by the fact their logo will be on TV whenever the team they sponsor plays.
The NBA said the sponsorship patch will not appear on the retail versions of the player jerseys at team or NBA stores, but teams will have the opportunity to sell jerseys with sponsor patches in their own retail stores.