Signs are increasingly indicating that if the NBA follows through on its plan to sell advertising on its uniforms for the 2013-14 season, it will not be starting a sports-wide trend. On the contrary, it appears that the NBA may be isolating itself on the controversial subject of uniform advertising.
That's the situation that emerged late Friday afternoon in Detroit, where NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the NFL is not considering uniform advertising. Goodell's statement came two weeks after MLB commissioner Bud Selig had indicated that ads will not be appearing on MLB uniforms.
Goodell's and Selig's statements create greater perception problems for the NBA as it considers whether to implement its uniform advertising plan. It had widely been expected that the NFL, MLB, and NHL would start taking at least tentative steps toward their own uniform advertising programs once the NBA plan was unveiled. But with Goodell and Selig both coming out against uni ads, the NBA may look more like a junior-level league -- both visually and financially -- if it goes ahead with the plan while its two biggest rivals keep their uniforms advertising-free. (NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has not yet spoken publicly about the league's stance on uniform advertising.)
The NBA announced its plan to sell advertising space on July 19. Fan reaction has been sharply negative, with many fans expressing their displeasure on Twitter with the #NoUniAds hashtag. The plan is not yet finalized, although the owners are expected to vote on the proposal in September.