NBA Naming Rights Up For Grabs

This NBA season, advertising will appear on the chest on NBA jerseys in the form of a 2.5 x 2.5 inch ad. GE has signed a $7 million/year deal with the Boston Celtics, Goodyear a $10 million/year with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Golden State Warriors are angling for $15-$20 million/year.

In context of Business Insider’s report last week indicating the number of advertisers running programmatic campaigns declined 12% (and native advertisers increased), this may be a bellweather for advertisers concerns over viewability and fraud in programmatic.

C3 Metrics reports 68% non-viewability in programmatic display, and comScore reports 69% non-viewability.

“Programmatic is like the options market on Wall Street,”said Vanessa Branco of Armonix Digital “if you don’t know what you’re doing, you will lose your shirt. But if you use control-firing tag platforms, attribution, and a variety of black lists to weed out fraud and viewability…you can make programmatic work like a well-oiled machine, and track accurate ROI.”

“We’re seeing a bit of a pendulum swing,” said Mark Hughes, CEO of advanced advertising attribution measurement firm C3 Metrics, and author of the book, Buzzmarketing. “Back in 2002, advertisers used a healthy amount of alternative media, but this declined with the advent of social. 2017’s NBA jersey advertising plus the dominance of Facebook and Google is a signal the pendulum is beginning to swing back.”

Under former NBA commissioner David Stern, a five year study of the jersey ad sponsorships ended with a “no.” But under new commissioner Adam Silver, the concept has passed into reality. The WBNA has been allowing jersey advertising for several years, providing some proof points of success (or absence of backlash).

But this may be the real driver: TV ratings for the NBA season were down 6%, and these jersey ads, no doubt, provide additional advertising power amidst ratings decline.

Next on the backs (or fronts) of sports jerseys: NFL, NHL, MLB?

The times they are a changing (again).