Brands looking for ways to integrate themselves into professional sports now have another option in the NBA. After debuting sponsorship patches on jerseys at this year's NBA All-Star Game in February, the league has decided to open up the opportunity full-time starting next season.
Today, the NBA Board of Governors approved the sale of jersey sponsorships, beginning with the 2017-18 season, as part of a 3-year pilot program. Each NBA team is responsible for selling its own sponsorships.
"Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams and the additional investment will help grow the game in exciting new ways," said NBA commissioner Adam Silver in a statement. "We're always thinking about innovative ways the NBA can remain competitive in a global marketplace, and we are excited to see the results of this three-year trial."
When compared to, say, soccer jerseys, where the sponsor name dominates the entire garment, NBA's jersey sponsorships will be subtler. Patches will measure approximately 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches and be adjusted to fit the dimensions of each sponsor's logo, and will appear on the front left of the game jerseys opposite the Nike logo.
Kia was the sponsor for this year's All-Star Game, and also has the jersey sponsorship rights for the 2017 All-Star Game.