When the NBA announced it was allowing teams to sell ads on their jerseys for the first time, you would have thought they were burning people at the stake. Blasphemy! My friends would chant. Blasphemy, really? The Philadelphia 76ers, who somehow have managed to stay a professional team, were the first to unveil such an advertisement. Good for them, I suppose. Can you imagine how that meeting must have gone?
Sales Guy: “You’ll be featured right on their jersey, it will incredible for you”
Advertiser: “Oh wow. How many All-Stars did you have this year?”
Sales Guy: “Well, actually, the last one we had was in the 2012 season. He’s not on the team anymore.”
Advertiser: “Ok. Which team is he on? I’ll sponsor them”
NBA Commissioner and youthful Monty Burns impersonator (right?), says this will add over $100 million dollars a year to NBA teams coffers. That’s some serious business considering it was only about 30 years ago that the NBA Finals weren’t aired live. It’s true. Look it up.
The outrage over this decision was palpable. With all that is going on in the political arena, this topic of discussion dominated my Facebook newsfeed for days. This surprises me…….a lot. Mostly because people stopped talking about their babies.
Hockey seems to have no shame in putting ads everywhere. Those are just the ones we could capture in this picture. Not captured are about 25 more around the boards.
Stephon Marbury had his shoe logo tattooed into his head. Bankruptcy of Steve and Barry’s ended the clothing line almost as soon as it launched. Just one of the many great moves he made in his career.
Redbull literally bought a team and renamed it (formerly the Metrostars) after itself.
The list goes on. What really excites me about this whole concept is the day one of the players refuses to wear a jersey because a particular sponsor clashes with a deal the player has with a competitor. “I can’t wear Beats by Dre! I represent Bose!”
While perspective certainly makes this seem like less of a deal, my bigger questions as someone who has spent their entire career in advertising is, how will this affect a sponsors bottom line? Will more people buy from Stubhub? Can they measure it’s effectiveness?
Since we are on the topic of sports and advertising, let’s talk about the value a superstar can generate.
Ronaldo, one of the world’s most elite soccer players recently signed a $1 Billion dollar deal with Nike, for life. Experts, as you’d imagine, call this deal, A BARGAIN. A BARGAIN! Yes.
Ronaldo has over 240 million followers across all of his social media channels from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Of his 1,500 or so posts, about 21% of them represented NIKE in some way, shape, or form. What’s more amazing is that they created over 450 million interactions. Whoa.
According to NIKE, his 329 posts for them last year alone generated over $474 million in revenue. So yes, a bargain for the brand.
The question isn’t around ads on jerseys, but truly where the limit will be.