We've known that ads would be coming to the front of NBA jerseys for a little while now, and the league made it official with a clause in its new broadcast rights deal which stated that ESPN and Turner would share in the revenue from those ads once they begin to appear.
According to The Wall Street Journal, that will happen beginning with this year's All-Star jerseys.
The National Basketball Association is planning to put a sponsored 3.25-inch-by-1.6-inch patch with a Kia Motors Corp. logo on the upper left chest of player jerseys for both the 2016 and 2017 All-Star games, according to the league.
The patch, part of an advertising buy between media rights holder Turner Sports and sponsor Kia Motors America, will also appear on All-Star jerseys available for retail sale. The companies declined to disclose financial terms.
It will mark the first time that one of the four major American professional sports will display a non-apparel logo on jerseys during a game. It is a marketing feature that is common overseas, such as in European soccer leagues and in Nascar, but has long stirred debate by U.S. sports executives.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver has reminded us in the past that we've been seeing advertiser logos on All-Star event jerseys since 2009, and there were no complaints. In fact, most fans didn't even notice.
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