League Quietly Allows Practice Jersey Sponsorships

In late March, reports surfaced that the league was considering the possibility of selling discreet corporate sponsorships to team practice jerseys.
The rule had not yet been adopted; apparently, it was during last month’s league meetings.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the Texans already are attempting to line up companies who’ll fork over cash for the privilege of sponsoring the 3.5-to-4.5-inch patch on the shirts worn by the team while on the practice field.
“It’s a rare opportunity for somebody to gain massive exposure for their brand and align so closely with the Texans persona,” team president Jamey Rootes told Megan Manfull of the Chronicle.  “To be able to do those two things looks like a great way to create value for our partners and create revenue for our franchise.”
And Rootes suggests — as we surmised in March — that this is the “first step” toward what in time could be corporate logos appearing on game-day uniforms.
“In the National Football League, we are calculated and measured in our evolution of things as it relates to the on-field product,” Rootes said. “This is a first step.  At an appropriate time, there will be a good bit of discussion and debate and recapping the experience, and then whatever the next step will be I’m sure will be carefully thought out.”
It’s possible, however, that the market is sssslow for such opporunities.  If the league indeed approved the measure during the May meetings in Florida, the fact that no team already has done a deal is telling — especially since (by all appearances) the Patriots and Redskins already had arrangements made for partnerships with purveyors of scratch-and-lose lottery tickets, a revenue-generating device that also was approved at the same meetings.

20 responses to “League Quietly Allows Practice Jersey Sponsorships

  1. I can’t wait for an savy young player to sell his last name for a sponsorship deal! Chad Joh– Ochoci—- whatever has already laid the foundation.

  2. Hopefully they won’t go overboard with it like those stupid ass NFL Europa jerseys that had advertising patches everywhere on the jersey

  3. Won’t be long before the NFL uniforms looks like FiFA uniforms.
    Money usurps tradition every time.

  4. Within a few years all the major sports will have sponsors on their jerseys. I’d prefer this wasn’t the case but the owners are going to look at it as another possible source of revenue that is needed with an economy that will be impacting sports for years. I wouldn’t be surprised if the NBA did this as soon as next season, as they just allowed a WNBA team to do this and there are several NBA teams in serious financial trouble. Soccer has had this for years and I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already in America. I just hope they use some sort of common sense when picking sponsors. I know I wouldn’t wear a jersey sponsored by Preparation H or AIG.

  5. This is an outrage, an affront to the game and its fans, and the beginning of the end of the league as we know it. Its pretty obvious where this is going to lead, because who ever sees a practice jersey anyway?
    I hated when teams began whoring out the names of stadiums. I would have hated it less if the $20 million or whatever companies spend lowered ticket prices, but of course it never works that way.
    But this is easily the most ill-advised corporate ‘sell your soul’ scheme devised yet by Goodell. He is having great success in sucking the heart out of the game and turning the NFL into another soulless, unlovable corporation.
    Goodell must go.

  6. Good grief…..Does everything we see have to have a damn commercial advertisment on it? It’s not like the league doesn’t make enough money already. I heard the Kotex has already bought the space on the Saints Jerseys since they are easily identified with that brand.

  7. OK. So riddle me this. Some team practices are open to the public/media if held outside, but closed if inclement weather forces the team inside. If I’m a potential corporate sponsor of a team jersey, do I then build something in the contract that dictates a team must practice so many times in front of an audience of potential customers (fans). How would a head coach or players feel about being told by corporate jersey sponsors they had to practice outside?

  8. What company would pay to have their logo on jerseys that are only worn during untelevised events closed to the public (excepting training camp)? I am surprised that the Washington football team was not the first to expore this option, or perhaps they did and were laughed out of the room.

  9. Terrible idea. The league slips further into bed with money. Every major decision made by the league is now dictated by money.
    Expand the season? Sure, gimme some more money.
    Flex scheduling? You betcha, show me the money.
    Corporate sponsorship on practice jerseys? For a price.
    Team-sponsored lottery games? Money, money, money!
    Seriously, look at what the league’s doing in every single one of the major changes it’s making. All lead to more money. Isn’t there already too much money in pro sports? Aren’t franchises already valued too high? Aren’t owners and players too rich? Aren’t fans paying too much for tickets, merchandise, and viewership?
    As fans we need representation. Everybody’s got a seat at the bargaining table except for the group that puts up all the money.
    Florio, I’m calling on you (as a smarmy, slimy lawyer) to represent us fans. We need a union. Put something up on the site. We’ll sign up for membership and we’ll boycott advertisers to get what we want. Who’s with me?

  10. SlipperyPete says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 11:06 am
    OK. So riddle me this. Some team practices are open to the public/media if held outside, but closed if inclement weather forces the team inside. If I’m a potential corporate sponsor of a team jersey, do I then build something in the contract that dictates a team must practice so many times in front of an audience of potential customers (fans). How would a head coach or players feel about being told by corporate jersey sponsors they had to practice outside?
    ————————————–
    Excellent point. This is how we end up with businesses making football decisions. No one can see past the bottom line anymore.

  11. How long will it be, before the NFL players, owners and teams will be bowing down to appease corporate sponsors.

  12. Heinekenfun says:
    How long will it be, before the NFL players, owners and teams will be bowing down to appease corporate sponsors.
    uh, 5-10 years ago, maybe longer?

  13. This sucks. If this stops at practice jerseys, I will shit in a hat and wear it. Next year this crap will be on gameday uniforms, and within 5 years it will be like NASCAR. Helmet, chest, and shoulderpads will be the first whored out.
    It is simply vile. Between this and PSL’s, the NFL is on the brink of becoming a goddamn joke.

  14. I say well played NFL! So what’s wrong with making money?
    Big deal. So they bring in a nice pay day for a little patch that will only be seen in snippets on the evening news for a month. It’s the sponsors that need their heads examined.
    “There is a sucker born every minute.”
    -PT Barnum

  15. PAJOI34 says:
    June 3rd, 2009 at 2:05 pm
    I say well played NFL! So what’s wrong with making money?
    Big deal. So they bring in a nice pay day for a little patch that will only be seen in snippets on the evening news for a month. It’s the sponsors that need their heads examined.
    “There is a sucker born every minute.”
    -PT Barnum
    ————————————
    It’s not that patches on the training uni’s is a huge deal. It’s that everyone (minus you) knows what comes next. It’s that it’s one more step that the NFL is taking towards money money money. Every damn NFL decision made now is driven by revenue. Believe it or not, sometimes more revenue is NOT good for the sport, the players OR the fans.

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