NBA will sell ads on players’ jerseys in 2017

Perhaps the “B” in NBA should stand for brands, not basketball.

The league approved today a three-year test program that lets team sell advertisements on basketball jerseys. Starting in 2017, NBA teams can sell brands a tiny 2.5-by-2.5 inch space under the player’s left shoulder.

While it’s a small space, it has the potential to bring in big revenue for the NBA. Bloomberg reports that ads from the league’s 30 teams could reel in $150 million in yearly revenue. Under the guidelines, the teams will keep half of it and the other half will be dispersed to players in a revenue-sharing pool.

“Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. “The additional investment will help grow the game in exciting new ways.”

The ad’s introduction begins next year when Nike’s $1 billion contract of producing the NBA’s jerseys begins its eight year run, taking over Adidas’ agreement. The NBA follows European soccer leagues, which have ads on its kits for several years, along with NASCAR, Major League Soccer and the WNBA.

Some fans are already creatively reimagining the new jerseys:

Images via Shutterstock.

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