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Jersey ads aren’t an unfamiliar sight at NFL practices. Brands like Lecom and Hyundai are visible on the practice jerseys of the Browns and Cardinals respectively.
The one place jersey ads haven’t shown up is in regular season games.
Could that be changing anytime soon?
Speaking with SI, an NFL spokesman said, “Never say never, but there are no current plans to pursue or explore.”
With what SI estimates to be $224 million in revenue being left on the table by not having patches on the jerseys, why would the league not consider it?
According to those inside the industry, the NFL is concerned about conflicts of interest between teams who may have patches of competitors of current partners for opposing teams.
The NBA has found success…
The NBA launched its jersey patch program in 2017 and as of March of 2019, every team in the league found themselves with a patch on their jersey.
According to Terry Lefton and John Lombardo of SBJ, the patch program has generated more than $150 million for the league.
Another important stat is that of the 30 team patch sponsors, 20 are doing business with NBA teams for the first time.
At this point, not having ads is more unusual…
Even MLB, considered the most traditional of sports leagues in the U.S., has experimented with sponsor patches since 2000. Of the major sports leagues in the U.S., here’s a look at which ones have ads on their game jerseys and which ones don’t.
MLB: Yes (for special occasion games only – Mexico Series etc)
Internationally, teams are cashing in…
While soccer is somewhat different in that the advertising is not just a patch, but the primary part of a team’s uniform, the revenue potential can’t be argued. Here’s a look at what just five brands are paying international clubs, according to The 18.
Emirates / Real Madrid: $80 million per year
Chevy / Man U: $68 million per year
Rakuten / Barcelona: $60 million per year
Emirates / Arsenal: $56 million per year
Yokohama / Chelsea: $51 million per year