NBA owners OK advertising patches on jerseys

National Basketball Association owners approved advertising on uniform jerseys for the first time in league history, according to the NBA.

A three-year pilot program for the ads, in the form of 2.5-by-2.5-inch patches, will begin in the 2017-18 season, which coincides with Nike replacing Adidas as the league’s official uniform supplier.

“Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a written statement. “The additional investment will help grow the game in exciting new ways."

The ads will generate about $150 million in total revenue per year, according to people familiar with league and team operations. Teams will keep half of what the ads generate, and the other half will be put into a revenue-sharing pool.

Successful teams that make more national TV appearances—and teams with bigger international audiences—can make more money from a company seeking to put its logo on a uniform.

The league has been moving toward advertising on uniforms for years. Teams in Major League Soccer and the WNBA already have company logos on their uniforms, similar with those in the English Premier League.

Major League Baseball has allowed uniform advertising during some games overseas, and National Football League teams have had ads on practice jerseys.

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