The Brooklyn Nets
already feature ads on their practice jerseys. (Erick W. Rasco/SI)
By Ben Golliver
Basketball will need to wait a little longer before it takes the soccer plunge.
Multiple reports Thursday indicated that the NBA will postpone its pursuit of placing advertisements on its jerseys, a common practice among European professional soccer teams.
Ken Berger of CBSSports.com reported that the issue was lost in the shuffle amid the news of David Stern's upcoming retirement on Feb. 1, 2014.
Amid the Stern news, NBA owners decided to put "on the back burner" the concept of advertising patches on NBA uniforms, sources say.
The issue of revenue-generating patches on jerseys will likely be tabled until the next board meeting in April, sources say.
ESPN.com added the following.
The momentum for a new revenue stream seemed to be there, but NBA owners put off talk of putting corporate logos on jerseys while at Thursday's board of governors meeting in New York.
The idea was to have a company pay to have its logo on a 2-inch-by 2-inch patch on the jersey front. But sources say the parties found that selling space on jerseys is quite complicated, and they needed more time to study it before the NBA becomes the first major sports league in the U.S. to sell an ad on its jerseys.
It might have been insulting if owners unanimously approved putting ads on jerseys on the day Stern's retirement was announced because Stern has been opposed to the idea. In fact, he hasn't let official apparel maker Adidas put its logo on game jerseys.
Maybe this is the cynic talking, but the ads on jerseys idea has been floating out there for so long that it now seems like a matter of when, not if. It's been discussed and dissected so thoroughly that it's hard to imagine the outcry would be that fierce, even if the concept was approved in April and launched in the 2013-14 season.
After the ugliness of the last lockout, and the huge shift in Basketball-Related Income that it produced, no one is under any illusions about the role big dollars play in the league's decision-making processes.