Limited use of ads on court OK'd
The NBA will allow advertising on the court for the first time next season.
The league sent a memo to its teams saying they will be permitted to sell space on what is referred to as the apron. The space covers the out-of-bounds area on the sideline between the baselines and the coaches' box where teams currently advertise their website or Twitter handles.
A team can place a company's logo on the floor in front of both team benches, but it has to be a decal. That's because teams can sell the space to a company only for games that are televised locally.
Players will get a slice of the pie from any revenue generated from the new signage opportunity as it will be calculated into the league's basketball related income.
The idea, proposed by deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who will take over for David Stern next season, will be evaluated over a one-year period to determine whether the league wants to make it a permanent piece of space to sell in the future. It is in lieu of putting corporate logos on jerseys, a proposal that has somewhat stalled. At one point, Silver said he believed that giving teams the rights to have a company's patch on jerseys would generate $100 million annually.
Chris Granger, executive vice president of team marketing and business operations for the league, told ESPN.com that he expects the apron advertising to be worth more than the jerseys because the television exposure will be so much more.
Sponsor decals are permitted to be up to 60 square feet. Granger said he doesn't expect any overly negative fan reaction because the logos are not inside the lines.
The league will also allow a sponsor's logo to be placed on the top of the backboard for games that are televised locally. The logo would be featured a few times a game when the broadcast goes to the overhead camera on a highlight. That sponsor logo can be no more than 2 inches.
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