Commissioner Adam Silver: NBA Jerseys Will Have Ads On Them In 5 Years

  • Jake O'Donnell

Like hell they will!

[AdAge] “I think it’s inevitable…It just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners 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 to those forms of sponsorship. … Increasingly as we see Champion’s League and English Premier League televised in the U.S., I think it’s going to become more acceptable and more commonplace for our fans as well.”

Ok, I guess like hell they actually will, huh? We spoke with NBA head of international merchandising, Sal LaRocca, earlier this year about the outrage over the sleeved jerseys. His response was measured, smart, and totally irrelevant until he mentioned that they were flying off the shelves — or something to that effect. Point being, it doesn’t matter what you THINK about changes to uniforms, all that matters is how you SPEND your cash.

Laissez faire, you guys.

The next derivation of sacrilegious uniform alteration will be advertisements — apparently because they do it in Europe. Also, all your bathing suits will be replaced with banana hammocks.

What a terrible justification…

For starters, European soccer has a vice grip on its viewing audience. “Football” is the only game in town over there, so the powers that be get to do whatever the hell they want with those uniforms. The fans have backed themselves into a corner and put all of their bargaining chips into one basket. It’s called soccer — and if owners want to put turtlenecks on the jerseys, it’ll happen, and no one will say a goddamn thing. This is America, you guys — we don’t take kindly to takin’ kindly.

Mess with our shit and we walk. Capece?

Over here, people have college basketball and, oh I dunno, four or five other sports to worry about. It’s not a far stretch to think these desperate ploys to rake in the dough (by the NBA’s adsales team) will cut into viewership for the league. People already have a tough time taking professional basketball seriously, on account of the 82-game season that doesn’t involve defense until March. Prominently place brand logos would undoubtedly drive certain people away.

That being said, advertisements on jerseys should be outlawed by an amendment in the constitution. Here’s why:

In soccer, there aren’t TV timeouts. In soccer, there are two breaks: halftime and overtime. That’s it. They NEED to put ads on the jerseys because they don’t get enough chances to show you videos of lizards eating Wes Welker’s legs. The same goes for NASCAR. Putting ads on a basketball jersey implies we, the viewers, aren’t having Olive Garden and Viagra stuffed down our throats forty times a game (do not try at home). Seriously, there are things called “Mandatory timeouts,” which “are called at the first dead ball after 6:00 and 3:00 in each quarter,” just to make sure you got the message that you can wash your E.D. medications down with some never ending breadsticks.

NOTE: Try not to get jealous of how hard the breadsticks are.

Then there’s the fact that our teams are named after things. NBA teams, unlike many European soccer clubs, have mascots. The Memphis Grizzlies. The Houston Rockets. The Milwaukee Bucks. How many more names do you want to add? The New Orleans Pelicans brought to you by Oracle? The front of the jersey is for the team name or the city. Adding some company’s name devalues the team name and dilutes the team’s identity…which makes them harder to relate to.

Sure, ads on jerseys are not the end of the world, and neither are sleeves. The fact that we have to watch Olive Garden and Viagra commercials six times over a two hour span, is. God help us.