National Basketball Association
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By Jim Brighters, NBA Editor - Archive - Email
Patches don't compromise integrity
Adam Silver Adam Silver estimates putting corporate sponsorship
on the jersey could be worth $100 million to the league.
Philadelphia, PA ( - Commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged that sponsor's logos are coming to NBA jerseys.


ESPN's Darren Rovell reported Silver told the crowd at the IMG World Congress of Sports that these logos could be coming to jerseys in the next five years.

The horror.

Those of you who think this is a sacrilegious act of treason on the game of basketball, doesn't it get tired fighting this sort of fight? Corporate sponsorship pays almost all of the bills, thus it almost always wins.

Rovell reports the potential hang up is how would these sponsorship logos coincide with the sponsorship already paid to corporate TV partners like ESPN/ABC or Turner.

This is obviously about money. It always is.

But again, naysayers, let's ask this, do you have a problem with the nickname jerseys, or the short-sleeved ones? What about teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, who have white, yellow, black and purple jerseys? Do you have a problem with those, because all of those jerseys are in circulation to get people to buy them.

According to Rovell's story, Silver estimates putting corporate sponsorship on the jersey could be worth $100 million to the league. Isn't that figure large enough and fiscally responsible enough to put a patch that would be 2 1/2 inches by 2 1/2 inches on a jersey?

Of course, it is. That's a ludicrous sum of money and for those of you who might say, doesn't the NBA have enough money, the answer is no. It's always going to be no. If a business decision makes enough sense, then it should be implemented. That's the commissioner's job, take care of the owners.

No other major North American sports league has logos on the players' jerseys.

Sure, every Major League Baseball stadium is a shrine to corporate America. Nor should we mention that the boards surrounding an NHL rink have more signs than you'll see on an I-95 roundtrip from Philadelphia to Baltimore.

A car competing in a NASCAR race has more stickers on it than a hippie's van. Tiger Woods has been a walking billboard for Nike for almost 20 years and his game has stood tall.

So if the NBA wants to put a Purina logo on an Atlanta Hawks jersey ... eat up, Fido.

If the Toronto Raptors have a Pennzoil patch on their right shoulder ... start your engines.

When the association sticks a Viagra patch on the New Orleans Pelicans' lapel ... you get my drift.

It's 2014 and the NBA is a business. The integrity of basketball, nor that of the team or the player, is compromised in any way by a corporate logo on a jersey.

The game will still go and Silver could add a massive amount of revenue. Guess what, some teams need it.

Get off your high horse and live in the current climate of American business. It has permeated into sports. It's reality and will impact nothing basketball- related other than increase business for the seamstress industry.

Want something worthy of your moral outrage, how about the fact that Jason Collins heard a gay taunt from an opposing player? That's a true issue worthy of your horror, not a patch.


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