The world's biggest soccer teams already plaster sponsor logos on game jerseys. So why not NBA teams?
NBA owners are weighing just that, reports say. The extra money could help close a deficit that the league claims had reached $300 million per year before the league and its players struck the latest collective bargaining agreement, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.
If you've ever watched a soccer match, you're likely less shocked by the idea. Even England's Manchester United, the world's most popular franchise, displays the logo of its sponsor AON in the center of its jersey, meanwhile relegating the storied club's much smaller crest to the upper-left chest area. The Nike swoosh occupies the upper-right.
The sponsored logo idea will likely come to a vote at the NBA's April 12 board of governors meeting, according to the Sports Business Journal. Prominent uniform advertising remains an "ongoing conversation," an NBA spokesman told the journal. Not all players appear pleased.
"I don't know, it's kind of NASCAR-ish," Philadelphia 76ers forward Elton Brand told the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The Los Angeles Lakers are not opposed to the concept, assuming it's done well, the team's executive vice president of business operations has previously told the Sports Business Journal.
One of the more common complaints surrounding the idea is that players will be turned into billboards. But that assumes merchandising and licensing don't already dominate professional sports. Anyone who looks at the tiff between Reebok and Nike over Tim Tebow jerseys will likely see that's arguable, at best.