National Basketball Association owners have decreed that ads will become part of NBA uniforms starting in 2017. After all there is money to be made from product placement even on a piece of dirty sports laundry. That may not sit well with sports traditionalists but money is money.
There is advertising on the shirts already, a team name or logo or the city that the team calls home along with the NBA logo and the shirt manufacturer’s logo. Sellinguniform space is more for television purposes anyway because most people in the arena will ignore a small uniform patch pitching a company. It is video product placement when there is a tight shot of a player shooting a free throw.
The NBA owned D League and the Women’s National Basketball Association have uniform advertising.
Football kits or soccer uniforms globally have corporate sponsors on both the front and back of the shirt. It doesn’t seem that having advertising on the uniforms has hurt international football at all. NASCAR drivers have sponsors all over their clothes and cars. Golfers and tennis players are walking billboards for companies. That is the way of the sports world as marketers feel they can reach target audiences with advertising everywhere including dirty laundry.
Major League Baseball, the National Football League and the National Hockey League have manufacturer logos on their shirts. Major League Soccer sells ads in the same way global football teams do. A large sponsor ad and a small team logo. And for those disgusted by ads, compare that with NFL players being arrested and what seems to be the ongoing story of banned substance use among Olympic caliber athletes.
Sports is not just a game. Businesses buy tickets to woo clients at games hoping to get additional business. Advertisers are hoping product exposure will result in more sales. Sports is just business even though the traditionalists may think otherwise.
Republished with permission Evan Wiener.