BRANDED: ARE LOGOS ON NBA JERSEYS MARKETING-OVERKILL?

May 24th, 2018 | by Sam Chavarria

Imagine. Magic Johnson and Showtime Lakers with the ‘Wish’ patch, Shaq and Penny with the Disney logo, Larry Bird and Bill Russell with the Celtics with a GE patch, even Michael Jordan and the Bulls with a Nike swish on the jersey! I know, it’s hard to imagine such an atrocity but not in today’s NBA. I get it, more money for the teams means more money for the players which means everybody is satisfied, but I know there are other ways to go about it. Instead of branding an NBA jersey, you can promote the brand before the game as opposed to a permanent badge of greed.

This is what made the NBA so great and different than other sports. They already started putting brands on the stanchions of the NBA hoops, but never did I think they would put them on the actual jerseys. We want the game to be authentic instead of having a brand that has nothing to do with the aesthetics of the game, instead the branding is making the players look like NASCAR vehicles. There are already promotions and marketing techniques that are used within the arena and the sponsors that come up before the broadcasting of the game.

Money is the motive, but the NBA is supposed to be an example for the other sports along with the NFL and MLB since their jerseys don’t have logos on them either. Although, it may only be a matter of time.

I understand that the flare of the logos may not cause any concern to viewers, but it’s the principle of the fact that the jersey should only have the player’s last name, the number, and the logo of the team.  That’s what makes the jersey so authentic and one of a kind. One could even go as far as saying that the branding diminishes the value of the jersey because no one is paying for that logo on the jersey. People want the jersey of their favorite player, team, number, or any sort of the combination, but never for the logo of a random company.

To even think of all the greats the game has had to offer over the years wearing a logo patch brings some level of disrespect to the game. Iconic moments throughout the history of basketball would look a little more eccentric with the logos on the jerseys – Vince Carter’s dunks in the 2000 dunk contest, Jordan’s shot over Ehlo during the 1989 playoffs, Iverson stepping over Tyronn Lue in Game 1 of the 2001 playoffs, all these moments would seem odd with a random logo on the jersey.

Even though the logos are disruptive and annoying, they do help the league expand in many ways. More salary cap space to provide more money for the players really does help teams and owners to grow the team’s identity and basketball throughout the world.

Basketball has come a long way without the help of a logo, everyone understood the universal symbol of a jersey already. The only logo the NBA needs is Jerry West dribbling a basketball.

Sam Chavarria is a CSUITEMUSIC.com Sports Blogger.

For more from Sam Chavarria, follow him on

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