Connect with us


Will the NFL Be Next to Sell Jersey Ad Patches?



Steelers Jersey Ad Patch
A depiction of what a Steelers uniform advertisement might look like. -- Alan Saunders/PSN. Photo by Mitchell Northam for PSN.

With the MLB joining the NBA, NHL and many other U.S. professional sports leagues in selling advertising space on the team’s uniforms, how long until the NFL joins in on the revenue flow? Well, some experts have said that it may not be for a while, if ever. 

The MLB is in its first year selling advertising space on the team’s uniforms, yet only nine teams have sold the space allotted. Terry Lefton of the Sports Business Journal mentioned a possible reason for the low number of clubs that have sold jersey advertising is the recession. 

The MLB is not the only league that is struggling to sell its jersey advertising spaces as “hundreds” are still available throughout the U.S. sports leagues. 

“With the R-word (recession) still much cited by those with budgets as a rationale for reticence, few are rushing to invest in any of the other leagues’ ‘fabric of the game’ investments,” wrote Lefton. 

Lefton then stated that even though the NFL could overcome the recession stranglehold and be able to attract many different brands while having the ability to charge up to five times the amount as the other U.S. pro sports do for their jersey advertisements, the league would not consider it at the moment because of the lack of a “revenue imperative.”

Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby acknowledges Penguins fans during a tribute celebrating his 1500th NHL point scored against the Detroit Red Wings, Saturday in Detroit, during the first period of an NHL hockey game iagainst the Chicago Blackhawks in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, April 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

The NFL will wait an extended period of time before even making a decision on the matter, according to the president of brands and properties at Wasserman, Elizabeth Lindsey. Wasserman helped the NFL gain sponsors from multiple different companies.

“Normally, [the NFL] comes in last to anything new in the market, does it better, and charges more. Still, they’ve been talking to us about ‘protecting the shield’ for so long, I could believe they’ll be the league that won’t sell space on their uniforms,” said Lindsey.

Another expert predicted that the NFL will skip over the “patch” advertisements altogether and dominate another field of advertising. Michael Neuman of Horizon Sports and Entertainment stated that he believes that the NFL will begin to utilize virtual signage similar to the NHL. 

“I look for the NFL to jump right over patches and lead the market with a consistent platform that captures brand placement in the lower bowl,” Neuman said. “They’re in a position to lead the industry. It feels like there’s hundreds of millions in advertising value there when you start to consider geotargeting and even programmatic advertising possibilities.”

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is the biggest roadblock for on-jersey advertisements as he openly stated that he is against the idea of selling patches. An NFL team president reinforced the thought that Goodell hates the idea.

“You tell me the year Roger Goodell’s contract ends and that’s the year ad patches will be allowed in this league.”

Steelers Now in Your Mailbox!

Enter your email address to get notifications of new posts in your mailbox.

Subscribe Today!