The allure is there. The commercialization of sports. The money grab. The spontaneous dismissal of tradition.
I've heard it all this week in response to the National Basketball Association’s announcement that they will soon sell advertising on their jersey—a move the league says could generate an additional $100 million.
The outrage is borderline comical; after all, we live in the land of product placement. You can’t go through an hour of television without seeing an iPad or Pepsi inserted into every third scene on Modern Family or Two and Half Men.
I say, “What took them so long?”
No one seems to mind all of the sponsor logos in NASCAR or the English Premiere League. So let the Wells Fargo Celtics and the Sbarro Knicks and the Target Timberwolves reign supreme.
Branding is king, so don’t get yourself in an uproar.
As someone who appreciates a smart advertising campaign, I salute the NBA as a (once again) trailblazer being the first of the major sport to sell jerseys as walking billboards.
In a decade, as the crowds roar for the Dallas Mavericks brought to you by Citibank, you most likely won’t recall that anything was ever different.