The first season of the program will be in 2017-18, which will also be the first season that Nike makes the NBA’s uniforms after taking over from Adidas. The Adidas logo is not currently on game jerseys.
“It’s my hope, independent of whatever additional revenues are generated through this patch program, that the greatest impact will be in this amplifying effect of companies choosing to associate directly with a team jersey, then going out and promoting that relationship to the largest market,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.
Silver said the league had calculated that the program will be worth about $100 million a year. It’s a small opportunity relative to the league’s overall revenues, which Silver said are projected to be $7 billion in the 2017-18 season.
Silver said Friday that the Nike swoosh will appear on every jersey for 29 of the league’s teams, but that the Charlotte Hornets will likely have the logo of the Nike-owned subsidiary Brand Jordan because the team is owned by Michael Jordan.
The money will be counted as basketball-related income and, therefore, split with the players. What isn’t yet clear is how a team will resolve a conflict if a company buying a patch is a competitor of a company that endorses that team’s star player.
Silver said that the NBA must also have conversations with its TV partners, ESPN and Turner, as well as the league’s top sponsors, based on who the jersey ad sponsors turn out to be.
Silver said there is “enormous uncertainty” around the patch program, which is one reason the initial idea is to restrict sales to a three-year period. The plan is also facing some backlash from fans who want to see the jerseys remain commercial-free.
“There’s a reason this is a pilot program,” Silver said. “We listen very closely to our fans.”
“We didn’t think that was fair. We have revenue sharing already and we think that is fair,” Alexander said.
The NBA is moving a step closer to putting advertisements on jerseys.
Sources told ESPN.com that the league sent out a memo this week, ahead of the owners meeting Sunday at the All-Star Game in Toronto, where the topic of putting corporate logos on uniforms is expected to be discussed.
Towns routinely greeted questions about his success with a shrug. The Timberwolves still won only 29 games and finished far out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.
“People who know me know I’m never satisfied. I’ve never felt like I’ve had a good game,” Towns said near the end of the season. “It’s hard to get me to even say I played good. That’s just in me. I’m just never satisfied. A lot of my friends get annoyed by it. I’m never happy about anything, playing-wise. I always think there’s things I messed up on, things I should’ve done differently that could’ve A) made us win or B) made the win easier.”