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Adam Silver: Sponsored logos likely coming to NBA jerseys in five years

Commissioner Adam Silver said in 2011 the logo initiative would be worth roughly $100 million annually to the NBA. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Commissioner Adam Silver said in 2011 the logo initiative would be worth roughly $100 million annually to the NBA. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Newly appointed NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said on Wednesday that sponsored logos will likely come to NBA jerseys in the next five years, according to a report from Darren Rovell of ESPN.

Speaking at the IMG World Congress of Sports on Wednesday, the 51-year-old said the proposed idea will give the league's marketing partners an opportunity to get closer than ever to fans and players:

"It just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get to get that much closer to our fans and to our players. It gives us an opportunity just to have deeper integration when it comes those forms of sponsorship."

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Under the conditions of the proposed initiative, each jersey would be adorned with one patch given to each team, and the logo would measure 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches, according to Rovell. In 2012, the NBDL introduced the same advertising campaign on its team jerseys with logos beneath the numbers on its uniforms. Its playoff teams that year featured the logo for BBVA, the official bank of the NBA, above the number on the back of its jerseys.

Silver had said in 2011 when he was still under the tutelage of then-commissioner David Stern that the idea of logos on NBA jerseys would be worth somewhere in the ballpark of $100 million annually in terms of revenue for the league. He admitted, however, that he wasn't sure how the advertising on jerseys would conflict with the league's national television partners, something that has yet to be clarified in light of the more recent news on Wednesday that the initiative will likely be pushed forward in the next five years:

"We know what the value is to advertisers in a world of 1,000-plus channels to be able to show fans in-game branding."

In April 2012, at the time the NBDL was unveiling logos on its jerseys, Silver said in an email to the New York Times that he understands why fans might think it's a crazy idea, but he asked people to consider that the league is a global business and pointed to other leagues that already feature logos on athletes, alluding to the likes of soccer, golf, NASCAR and the WNBA.

“If we add sponsor logos to jerseys, we recognize that some of our fans will think we’ve lost our minds. But the N.B.A. is a global business and logos on jerseys are well established in other sports and commonplace outside the U.S.”
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