June 3, 2009

A slippery slope? Hardly

by Dan Bilicki In: Baseball, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Soccer

So a WNBA team is putting a sponsor’s name on their uniforms starting this coming season. Surprisingly, people actually care. The WNBA mainly gets its press because the NBA — which runs the league — demands the coverage, but now the women’s association is making news all by themselves. The real debate here is will this lead to other North American pro teams to put ads on their kits?

The Canadian Football League already does it and nobody’s complaining. Granted, nobody really watches minor league football and there aren’t too many forums to comment on such things. But what’s wrong with a little patch on the shoulder? I don’t think anything is.

The Red Sox did it when they played in Japan a few years ago; was that horrible? I don’t think so.

Really, shouldn’t teams be looking into landing a bit more revenue in tough financial times like these? Quite frankly, I can’t believe that the cash-strapped NHL didn’t try this first. Do you think the Coyotes could’ve used a few extra millions to put a logo or two on their jerseys? Of course! Then we wouldn’t be looking at this dumbass bankruptcy court case that’s preventing one of the best moves the league could make. Sure, the Coyotes would still be dwindling in the desert, but at least the fans of ice hockey wouldn’t know how incompetent their commissioner is.

And finally, everyone will play the traditionalist card on this debate, but can you honestly ever believe that a team with such deep tradition like the Celtics or Lakers, or Yankees or Red Sox plastering as many logos as they can across their unis? It would never happen. Putting a sticker on the batting helmet or a bigger Nike swoosh on their pants or shorts, that wouldn’t hurt anyone. It’s ridiculous to even think that teams would turn out looking like European ice hockey teams: plastered completely with ads to the point it’s distracting. Teams have a lot better sense here than those across the pond.

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