Nets to CEOs: 'Here's your chance'

Updated: October 28, 2013, 12:59 PM ET
By Darren Rovell | ESPN.com

The Brooklyn Nets have placed an ad that appeared Monday morning in Crain's New York Business in hopes of tempting chief executives to put their companies' names on the court at the Barclays Center.

A trial balloon floated by the NBA will result in some teams selling corporate signage on their courts for locally televised games this season.

[+] EnlargeNBA approved signage
Courtesy Brooklyn NetsThe Nets placed an ad Monday in Crain's New York Business in hopes of tempting chief executives to put their companies' names or logos on the court at the Barclays Center.

Some executives are hoping to generate millions from the new pieces of inventory opened up in June by deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who will replace David Stern in February.

"You've always dreamed of playing in the pros and here's your chance to get on the court," Nets CEO Brett Yormark wrote in a letter in the ad. "As we embark on what is sure to be one of our most exciting seasons in franchise history, this is your opportunity to be our sixth man."

Two weeks ago, the Indiana Pacers announced that they had sold the out-of-bounds area on the court between the baseline and the coaches' box to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, and sources tell ESPN.com that the Toronto Raptors are expected to announce Tuesday that the team has sold the space, known as the apron, to a Canadian bank.

"We're not giving this away to an existing partner," Yormark told ESPN.com. "We think this has great appeal to a global partner looking to launch their brand."

There are many restrictions to selling this space, which the NBA will allow for 2013-14 and then evaluate its potential after the season. Corporate logos can be on either or both sides but no more than 60 square feet.

Companies can't be competitors of the league's apparel sponsor adidas or official basketball Spalding. And the league won't allow products such as hard alcohol or tobacco to be advertised.

The value of the deal is limited somewhat in that the logos will show up only during a team's home games that are broadcast on local television. League rules require that teams switch back to their team names, websites or Twitter handles when playing in games broadcast on national TV.

"I'm in love with selling this real estate," said Yormark, who can sell the space for 32 of 41 home games because the Nets have nine national games scheduled in Brooklyn. "There are just so few opportunities where you can put your brand on a playing field. It's essentially an implied endorsement from both the team and its players."

Although the players won't have a say in what brand is advertised at their feet, they will make money from it, as the revenue generated from the deal will become part of the league's basketball-related income that the owners are required to split with the players.

The selling of the apron area was meant to help grow revenues as the discussion of putting an ad on jerseys stalled.

"I invite you to join us on what will surely be a memorable journey," the Nets' ad says. "Make the call now. Rookie salaries start at $2,000,000."

Darren Rovell | email

ESPN.com Sports Business reporter

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