While shirt sponsors in soccer and other sports are commonplace, NBA jerseys have been left alone, for the most part blank spaces that reveal only team colour, logo, player name and number. However, the globalization and commercialization of the sport, particularly in the NBA, is about to change that.
Several NBA D-League affiliates are taking the first steps to sponsorship deals coming to an NBA jersey near you… soon. The Westchester Knicks are about to tip off their first season as the D-League side team for the New York Knicks, and they will be getting the campaign underway with their jersey carrying the Chase company logo.
“As part of the relationship, Chase will receive prominent logo placement on the Westchester Knicks jersey,” the team wrote in a statement. “The Chase logo will appear on both the home and road jerseys.”
The Knicks will not be alone either, with the Texas Legends (Affiliate for the Dallas Mavericks) actually advertising another state and another country! Chihuahua in Mexico to be exact.
Of course, the D-League has been messing around with this kind of thing for a few years now, while shirt sponsors and the idea of flagrant sponsors is more common in Europe. In the US though the NBA jersey is still a bit of a blank space, but the league has confessed that sponsors on tops are inevitable. Don’t think so? Just ask the Westchester Knicks.