- Paul Lukas
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When the Charlotte Hornets unveiled their new uniforms Thursday, many fans noticed a small but telling detail: The NBA's ubiquitous red, white, and blue logo was missing from familiar position on the upper-chest area of the new jerseys.
Instead, it appeared on the back, above the player names.
The Hornets won't be alone.
All NBA teams will be wearing the logo on the back for the 2014-15 season, the league confirmed to ESPN.com. A league official called it a "stylistic move" but declined to comment further.
Eighteen of the NBA's 30 teams have a team logo in the rear-neckline spot. The league official confirmed that those logos all will be replaced by the repositioned league logo.
The move is sure to fuel speculation that the NBA is preparing to move ahead with its long-planned program of jersey advertising. Removing the league logo from the front of the jersey will clear more space for an ad patch and remove what would otherwise be a competing visual icon.
Annual revenue from jersey ads has been estimated to be in the $100 million range.
The NBA logo debuted in 1969 and was the first of the "Big Four" pro league logos to appear on game jerseys, although the other leagues eventually followed.
The NFL and NHL logos appear at the base of their respective sports' jersey collars, and the MLB logo appears on the rear neckline -- the same spot the NBA mark will occupy.
All NBA teams will be wearing the league logo on the back for the 2014-15 season. A league official called it a "stylistic move" and declined to comment further.