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NBA jersey ads sales hold plenty of complications

The NBA announced the addition of small advertising patches on jerseys beginning in the 2017-18 season just five months ago.

So far, the Philadelphia 76ers is the only team that has managed to strike a deal for ads. Corporations are certainly excited to put their stamp on NBA uniforms, but the reason they aren’t is complicated.

This decision is left to individual teams on pricing and if they choose to use ads at all. Many of them are waiting on deep lucrative deals so that they don’t miss out on extra potential revenue.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the 76ers’ deal lasts three years with StubHub for $15 million, but larger markets with a marquee player means the prices will be higher. The Golden State Warriors are asking $65 million for the same term as the Sixers’, and the Cleveland Cavaliers are looking for a deal around $50 million.

The difference here is that each team is vying for the same ad revenues, and since they are in competition with one another, the true figures for all teams aren’t disclosed.

The next and understandable issue is conflict of interest. Products such as alcohol and gambling outfits, media content providers, and competitors of companies that are already NBA sponsored such as Spalding, Gatorade, or Tissot haven to be filtered. This also includes business partners that need to be satisfied: the players and local TV networks.

Players get 50% share of the deal, but teams are wary of making deals with a company that is in competition with a brand that a player already endorses.

Nike will be making NBA team uniforms next season, and will only attach ads to the uniforms if they are given enough time. That means the deals will have to be signed by January, or the teams will have to add them to the uniforms themselves.

These and other small issues that amount to one large complication are the reasons teams have been silent about ads.

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