The Boston Celtics announced their jersey patch deal with GE this week, becoming the third NBA team to sell advertising on their uniform. The three year deal makes GE the official data and analytics partner for the team. Two other NBA teams have signed advertising deals for their jerseys – the Sacramento Kings and the The Philadelphia 76ers. Those deals are with Blue Diamond and Stub Hub respectively.
Financial details of the GE deal were not disclosed, but it includes digital and social content and signage within the arena. At some point in the near future most teams will be making similar deals. As player salaries increase, more avenues of revenue are needed. This has been going on for years in the European professional sports leagues and it was only a matter of time before it hit the major team sports in North America.
End of an era?
I always get a kick out of watching NHL classic games when the boards were bare and without advertising. The only advertisement needed back than was for a magic eraser to get rid of all the puck marks.