Thoughts on Jerseys and Branding

I was listening to the BS Report with Bill Simmons the other day when he interviewed David Sterns. Bill Simmons said something that really stuck in my brain. He thinks the NBA could make a lot of money off selling jersey sponsorship. I am skeptical of this idea. I think it is penny smart and dollar foolish for the NBA, NFL, or MLB to sell the front of their Jersey.

One of the hardest thing to build in marketing is a brand. People spend lots of money building a brand. I think putting another companies name on the front of your product is one way to hurt that brand. These teams are lifestyle brands. I think hurting that brand is not worth the money they can get for the sponsorship.

International football teams need to sell the front of the jersey because they have very little inventory for advertisements. Selling the front of the Jersey becomes necessary. The fans of international football know that ad time is not there so they are willing to put up with it. I am not sure American fans will feel the same way. I am willing to buy my wife a Giants Jersey for $150 for Christmas. I am not willing to spend that same money for a Jersey that says AT&T.

I think international football teams have a more valuable property then American sports because of lack of other advertising messages during the game.

Further Reading: Low Down on Football Jersey Sponsors Forbes


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