The Adam Silver era of the NBA is nearly upon us, and it comes with far more advertisements.
ESPN's Darren Rovell reports the NBA is allowing on-court ads on a limited basis for the 2013-2014 season.
The league sent a memo to its teams saying they will be permitted to sell space on what is referred to as the apron. The space covers the out-of-bounds area on the sideline between the baselines and the coaches' box where teams currently advertise their website or Twitter handles.
The report goes on to say teams can place ads on either end of the court, but they cannot be permanent ads, because they will only be allowed during locally televised games. For the moment, nationally televised fare will remain status quo.
Rovell states the idea came from Silver, who will step in as the league's commissioner next season. The current deputy commissioner hopes to use this on a permanent basis after the upcoming test season.
Of course, fans might recall the last creative idea to come from the NBA in the form of sponsor's ads adorning NBA jerseys.
While that idea seems to have died a silent death in recent months, the latest notion of ads taking over the court's apron may be the perfect solution.
According to Chris Granger, an NBA executive cited by Rovell, the revenue garnered by the on-court sponsorship would be far more lucrative for the league than jersey ads and be far less intrusive to fans watching from home.
Such a statement is not taken lightly, because Silver offered jersey ads might raise as much as $100 million annually.
If the apron decals could usurp that total, you can expect to see a great deal more corporate logos framing all the NBA action on a permanent basis.
In fact, you should probably prepare for more than that, because Rovell notes, "The league will also allow a sponsor's logo to be placed on the top of the backboard for games that are televised locally."
I am sure all of this will be met with the usual eye rolls from fans who like their sports to remain as unchanged as possible.
It's a rather silly stance considering how many ads fans have to deal with on a nightly basis already. Twenty-second timeouts are always longer, stuffing as many ads in a broadcast as possible.
If you look at the soccer world, sponsor's logos adorning jerseys have hardly derailed the action on the field. If the league can raise revenues and satisfy owners and players without raising already high-priced tickets, I am all for it.
Place one giant ad on the court for all I care, just make sure the returns mean lower prices for fans. If we have to suffer through a basketball game that plays out like a commercial, make it worth our while.
The NBA is about to get a high-priced facelift to its courts. Seeing as how it will garner the league a great deal of money, you might as well get used to it.
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