By Samuel Goldman
Jersey sales are a vital part of every sports franchise’s financial plan. The iconic bland American uniforms have transcended time. International soccer utilizes a different marketing strategy. Clubs are paid millions of dollars to have a company’s name on their jerseys. Basketball fans on social media have criticized the NBA for considering this strategy. I disagree and think it would benefit professional American basketball.
Small market teams continue to experience financial problems. Super teams have altered the league’s stability. The new 24 billion 9-year TV deal will temporally fix the problem. Jersey sponsorships will attract the international audience the league needs to remain financially stable for the next 20 years.
Soccer is arguably the world’s most popular sport. I attended a Seattle Sounders home game last summer and discovered that sponsored jerseys don’t alter the experience. The sport’s ability to attract major kit sponsors is impressive. Ironically, many of the companies are based out of America.
Professional basketball’s rich and iconic history is filled with unforgettable moments. None of these iconic plays feature a sponsored jersey. I respect and endorse the history of the sport. Adaptation is the key to survival. The NBA needs to adapt if they expect to compete on a global level.
Fans deserve a quality product. Player and team relocation has hindered the quality of the league. Small markets should be able to compete with everyone else. Jersey sponsorships would level the financial playing lead motivating players to remain on the same team. The NBA needs jersey sponsorships to compete on a global level.