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Tuesday
Oct052010

Coming Soon: Sponsor Names on Pro Sports Jerseys?

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- American sports fans may soon see sponsor names appearing on team jerseys, according to AdAge.com. 

The 20 English Premier League soccer teams generated $155 million by selling ad space on their jerseys as reported by Sports Illustrated, causing the four major American sports leagues and its corporate partners to consider and even debate the idea of sponsor patches on team uniforms.

Mark Cuban, owner of the National Basketball Association's Dallas Mavericks, told Advertising Age, "It's definitely on the horizon.  I think it's more an issue of 'how much' rather than 'if' [it happens]."

The National Football League currently allows for teams to sell advertising on practice jerseys, with more than half of the 32 franchises taking advantage of the opportunity.  However, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Ad Age the league has no plans to allow sponsor patches on game jerseys, despite being approached by major companies who say that "NFL jerseys represent the most valuable real estate in sports."

While a National Hockey League spokesman chose not to comment, Major League Baseball is perhaps the most opposed to selling sponsorship.  According to an email sent to Ad Age, an MLB spokesman wrote, "Baseball has a longstanding policy of not allowing corporate advertising on our uniforms for non-international competitions. We are continuing to monitor what appears to be an increase in the trend that places non-manufacturer corporate marks on uniforms."

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