NBA opens up to jersey sponsorship with three-year trial

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has today (Friday) confirmed that it will permit the sale of jersey sponsorships, beginning with the 2017-18 season, as part of a three-year pilot program.

The move, which has been widely anticipated in recent months, was approved by the Board of Governors of the North American league. The sponsorship patch will appear on the front left of the game jerseys, opposite Nike’s logo. Patches will measure approximately 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches and be adjusted to fit the dimensions of each sponsor's logo. The NBA’s 30 teams will be responsible for selling their own jersey 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,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said. “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.”

The sponsor patch will not appear on the retail versions of the player jerseys but teams will have the option to sell the jerseys with sponsor patches in their own retail outlets. The NBA, along with other major leagues in the US, has traditionally shied away from sponsor branding on playing jerseys but trialled the concept during its All-Star Game in Toronto on February 14.

During the game, the branding of Korean automotive manufacturer Kia featured on the upper left chest area of the players’ jerseys.