Sunday, July 22, 2012

Introducing the Golden State Oracles...

After originally hearing about the idea that was floating around the NBA that would allow teams to have corporate sponsors advertise directly on team jerseys, my thought was, Yeah right, they'd never do that. But the truth is that the measure has been approved and we could be seeing sponsorships on NBA jerseys within the next couple of years. What's more, jerseys manufactured for retail to customers would also host this patch.

This is terrible news. Yes, sports is a business, but allowing corporate logos on jerseys is flat out desperation for revenue. It totally destroys the purity of a sports jerseys. It is utterly disgusting.

The patch itself is unobtrusive, but this small development in jersey sponsorships will undoubtedly lead toward jerseys without the team name, but rather the sponsor name, just like soccer. To those who've seen the Manchester City jersey before, nowhere on the jersey is the club name, only the name of the sponsor, Etihad. NBA team identity will vanish.

And then there's the issue of overhauling history. There have been so many great players on the Lakers and Celtics, all wearing iconic yellow-and-purple and green-and-white jerseys, and now you're telling me that Kobe Bryant will be wearing a jersey with Budweiser on the front and a tiny Lakers logo in the corner instead of vice-versa?! C'mon NBA!

Pretty soon, the team name and logo will be relegated to a tiny patch in the corner and the sponsor who currently occupies a patch will soon occupy the entire jersey. We'll have the Golden State Oracles playing the Oklahoma City Valeros. Ridiculous stuff.

This decision is clearly for money, but is an increase in revenue really worth destroying the purity and tradition of a jersey? I for one would rather own a jersey with my team name than with my team's sponsor's name. I actually would not mind more commercial breaks on televised games if that would compensate for the revenue that would be gained by these patches.

And this new revolution in corporate sponsorships could very well spread into other sports. Can you imagine the next great Yankee donning the logo of an investment firm instead of the glorious pinstripes? No.

It's yet to be seen how this new development fares but I certainly hope that corporations will be reluctant to sponsor teams in this way. Anything so that the idea falls flat. Because, although I don't really care about basketball, I do not want corporate logos to infiltrate the orange and black of the Giants or the red and gold of the Niners.

Please, for the sake of fans everywhere, do not do this NBA, or you will alienate your fans. Or at least this fan over here.

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