The Los Angeles Lakers have announced that the players will begin wearing short-sleeve jerseys in several handpicked games come the 2013-14 NBA season. The Lakers are just one of many teams that are preparing to feature the short-sleeve “look.”
According to HoopsWorld’s Steve Kyler, five NBA teams will add the short-sleeve jerseys to their uniform options, with a total of 20 other franchises planning to wear short-sleeve jerseys at least once this coming season.
Short-sleeve jerseys are starting to infiltrate the NBA for three main reasons. The logic is simple. It all boils down to additional revenue.
Use Of Advertisements
Ladies and gentlemen, the league is trying to acquire more income. One of the ways that the NBA plans to achieve their goal is through ad placement on player jerseys.
Via BusinessWeek, the expected income for advertisement patches on jerseys could be close to $125 million dollars across all franchises. Not a bad deal at all.
Beginning the 2013-14 NBA season, the league has already allowed all 30 teams the ability to sell ad space on courtside and on top of backboards. Advertisements on short-sleeve jerseys are next, a clear sign that the NBA is starting to kick their plans into high gear.
With the additional space on the sleeves, it will provide NBA teams room for ad placement without jeopardizing the “look and feel” of the jerseys.
Marketing ads on jerseys have a direct connection to core branding. Every concept is related and tightly knit. By placing ads on jerseys, it will automatically assist with ticket sales, radio and television, apparel, and most importantly, keeping the stadium packed.
With added revenue, each NBA franchise will have more options to market their team in the way they would prefer, thus adding income to their yearly budget. Not only will this jump-start a lucrative business for the NBA, it will also strengthen other corporations through overall reach, brand awareness and competitive advantage.
It’s a “win-win” for all parties involved.
Boosting Jersey Sales
The tank-top style NBA jersey has been around for a very long time. With the help of Adidas, who already assisted with the creation of short-sleeve trial jerseys in this year’s NBA Summer League, the NBA plans to use the newly styled short-sleeve jerseys to overwhelmingly boost sales.
The concept is straightforward. Younger teenagers and kids are more primed to wear tank-top style NBA jerseys than adults. Kids would often wear tank-top style jerseys and have no problem. However, adults feel differently. Most adults that wear the NBA’s current jerseys will most likely wear a t-shirt underneath before heading to a game.
By featuring the revised NBA short-sleeve jerseys, both the NBA and Adidas agree that fans would be more inclined to purchase these items. The jerseys would feel like a normal “V-neck” t-shirt in a sense, which would be more comfortable for people of all ages and easier to wear in public.
With That Said…
It’s interesting to note that money itself is the main reason as to why short-sleeve NBA jerseys haven’t hit stores as of yet. Throughout the 30 franchises, there are only a few big market teams (Heat, Lakers, etc.), while the majority represents small market venues.
The problem lies on a franchise level. Obviously, big market teams will generate more income as oppose to small market teams. The question that the NBA is currently trying to solve is whether the overall yearly income through advertisements should be shared or separated based on the revenue stream of each franchise.
This particular dilemma will soon be answered, and like it or not, the short-sleeve NBA jerseys will be in stores near you.
Imagine Heat star LeBron James’ wearing a jersey with the Heat logo and right next to it, the pictures of Mickey and Minnie Mouse courtesy of Disney?
A few more months and that imagination becomes a reality.
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