Ads on NBA Jerseys May Not Happen for a Year or Two

Rick Welts, the man partly responsible for helping to usher in an era of sleeved jerseys, says the idea of plastering sponsorships on those same shirts is still another season or two away from becoming reality. The problem, as always, is money. Per Sports Business Daily: “The NBA hopes to hold a vote to approve the sale of jersey sponsorships this month, but Warriors President & COO Rick Welts thinks it will be at least another year or two before owners approve the proposal. Welts, on the opening panel at the IMG World Congress of Sports, said, ‘Money is holding this up. The problem is that at a lot of levels, the local franchise levels, we are creating a disparity in revenue from big markets to small markets, and teams look at this as magnifying that (disparity) even more. So should we share that money? That’s a hard discussion to have with a brand new source of revenue.’ The league last July began weighing a plan that would put a 2.5-inch-by-2.5-inch logo patch on uniforms for the ’13-14 season. Small-market owners are concerned the value of the sponsorships will be greater in large markets and that will allow those teams to pad their revenue and potentially help big-market teams pay players more and improve their rosters. Welts said team presidents think there is a ‘middle ground’ where 25% of each team’s jersey sponsorship revenue goes into a shared pool. But he is not optimistic an agreement will be reached in the next year or two. Welts: ‘Everyone knows there’s a big pot there. It’s not uncomplicated, but the idea that we have hundreds of millions of dollars sitting out there and we can’t figure out a solution to bring it into the league, shame on us.'”