The NBA is always in search of new streams of revenue, which is part of why the league has done so much under David Stern to globalize and mainstream its appeal. The league may also be selling space on its apparel shortly:
Adam Silver says it's "likely" some sort of plan for jersey advertisements would be implemented next season.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 20, 2012
That quote comes from NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver, who spoke with Stern at a press conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, and it's likely to rankle purists who believe in jerseys being free of advertisements (except, one supposes, for the official apparel brand of the NBA), despite European soccer using jersey ads extensively and the WNBA having ads on jerseys since the Phoenix Mercury signed a deal in 2009.
The current proposal for jersey ads would be as a small patch on the shoulder, not exactly as obtrusive as a sponsor name across the chest, and could bring in up to $100 million in total. According to Silver, while guidelines would be in place for ads in the 2012-13 season, ads would not start appearing on jerseys until 2013-14.