With its new sleeved jerseys and alternate uniforms featuring Spanish text, the NBA has played with players' attire more than any other major North American sports league. And if commissioner Adam Silver has his way, the jerseys will be undergoing another drastic transformation in the near future.
Silver told an audience at the IMG World Congress of Sports this week that logos on NBA jerseys are "inevitable," and will likely come within the next five years.
"It just creates that much more of an opportunity for our marketing partners to get that much closer to our fans and to our players," Silver said. "It gives us an opportunity just to have deeper integration when it comes to those forms of sponsorship."
Silver has been pushing for this cause even as deputy commissioner, but he says the league has been held up by potential conflicts between ads on jerseys and ads being sold by the league's television partners.
As the ideas stands now, each team would have one 2 1/2 inch by 2 1/2 inch patch with a sponsor's logo. Three years ago Silver said this upgrade could net $100 million a year in revenue for the league.
The WNBA has been experimenting with corporate patches for several years, and some teams even have sponsors' logos that are larger their own.
Professional soccer teams in both MLS and foreign leagues have been known for having large logos on their jerseys, and some have even gotten to the point where they've placed ads on the inside of the uniform.