Saturday, August 4, 2012

Commish: No Ads on NFL Uniforms

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was in Detroit visiting the Lions' training camp today, and was asked about the National Basketball Association's plan to sell advertising space on its uniforms.

For the uninitiated, the NBA hasn't officially committed itself to selling the ad space, but NBA deputy commissioner (and presumed commissioner-in-waiting) Adam Silver has told the press that they are "likely" to allow teams to sell advertising space on their jerseys in the near future and that "there is potentially a big opportunity in the marketplace" for it.

Predictably, the news set off a firestorm among sports fans, chief among them those of us with an interest in the games' æsthetics.

Paul Lukas is doing his part to spread awareness and outrage with a #NoUniAds on Twitter. He's also chronicling the many email messages sent to the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner in protest (f you'd like to join that protest, Lukas has some very good suggestions over at Uni Watch).

Naturally, other leagues were immediately asked about it. For his own part, MLB Commissioner was pretty quick to shoot down any suggestion that baseball was heading in that direction.
"You learn never to say never, but you know, with us, uniforms are really important," Selig said. "They're history. "You can close your eyes, and that Cub uniform, my goodness gracious, I can remember [that from] when I was 10 years old, and that's a long time ago. And there's the Yankee pinstripes and the Red Sox, and so on and so forth, so I've been pretty consistent on that."
Well, that's good to hear. But how about football? In response to a question from the Detroit Free Press, Goodell gave some welcome news.
"It's not something that’s actively being considered in the NFL," Goodell said. "We like the look that we have on the field. We have a very limited number of partners on our field in general, much less on the uniform, and we think that’s right for the NFL."
Of course, the NFL's skirts aren't completely clean on this score. The Packers are currently in their third consecutive Training Camp following the sale of sponsorship patches on the practice jerseys.

Let's hope that the camel's nose does indeed stop there.

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