COMMENTARY| Detroit Pistons fans, along with other fans of NBA teams, could see an addition to uniforms in the near future.
No, the Pistons aren't going back to their hideous teal garb that we just loved. The Pistons' red, white and blue will probably always be the norm. However, the NBA could add advertisement patches to uniforms, at some point, according to a few sources.
Imagine a wonderful photo of team owner Tom Gores plastered on the back of Brandon Knight's jersey, or maybe across the back of the shorts -- since there is more room. Maybe "Platinum Equity" could go across the rear -- you know, like how girls have "juicy" or whatever other word describes their backside on the back of their shorts and sweatpants.
It'd be great from an advertising perspective.
The idea of placing advertisements on uniforms isn't new. In fact, European league basketball uniforms have had sponsorship patches on them for years. Those leagues need all the money they can get. They're not the NBA, which has huge income sources without having to go that route.
Soccer, hockey, even baseball teams' uniforms are adorned with sponsor logos, too. The idea, though, hasn't caught on in America for the NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL. And that's a good thing. There are enough advertisements on the boards, courts and outfield walls. TV commercials due a sufficient job, and the Detroit Red Wings had a Hanson's Windows logo superimposed on the glass -- viewable by the TV audience -- the past couple years.
The addition of sponsor logos on NBA uniforms would cheapen the game. But the proposal isn't as radical as what I suggested about Gores' face or name of his firm being placed on the back of Knight's shorts. According to NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver, teams would wear two-inch-by-two-inch patches on the shoulders of jerseys. While far from gaudy, it would be awkward in a sense. We've grown used to less-popular sports resorting to that way of generating funds. Heck, soccer is the most popular game in the world and, yet, its teams wear gear painted in sponsorships logos.
"I think it's likely that we'll do something, implement something, some sort of plan for the fall (2013)," Silver said. "I think it's fair to say that our teams were excited about the opportunity and think there is potentially a big opportunity in the marketplace to put a two-by-two patch on the shoulder of our jerseys."
How effective would those patches really be? I'm not so sure it would be a slam dunk of a venture. Being a collector of NBA memorabilia (among other types), I can't help but think that jersey sales to the public would decline. Who wants to display an NBA jersey with a McDonald's logo? Who wants to wear that? If the NBA went any further, it could inch its way into UFC/NASCAR territory. Those fans are great for the sports -- they actually pay, by buying merchandise, to promote and advertise for the sport.
Maybe I'm just used to the traditional non-advertisement-laden NBA uniforms. Or maybe I'm failing to see the bright side of a potentially-lucrative proposal for the NBA and its players. But I'm not sold on the idea. I sincerely hope the NBA thinks this one through.
Save an idea like that for the D-League.
What do you think of the NBA's idea to place advertisements on jerseys? Would you rather see more on-court logo placement to balance things out? Good idea or bad idea? Leave your feedback in the comments section.
Adam Biggers has followed the NBA for over 20 years, specifically the Detroit Pistons. He can be found on Twitter @AdamBiggers81.