Nets are selling on-court ad space

The Barclays Center. AP Photo.

The Barclays Center. AP Photo.

The Brooklyn Nets might be spending an absurd amount this season as part of their quest to win a championship, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t looking to make money any way they can. For the first time ever, the NBA has allowed teams to sell advertising space on the court’s apron, the out-of-bounds area on the court between the baseline and the coaches’ box, and the Nets are starting sales at $2 million.

“You’ve always dreamed of playing in the pros and here’s your chance to get on the court,” Nets CEO Brett Yormark wrote in an ad that appeared in Monday’s Crain’s New York Business. “As we embark on what is sure to be one of our most exciting seasons in franchise history, this is your opportunity to be our sixth man.”

During the offseason the NBA, looking to generate revenue, discussed the possibility of ads on jerseys. That idea was shot down, but this one picked up steam as a result. Ads are only to be displayed during locally televised games and must revert back to the team’s name or Twitter handle during games on TNT or ESPN. The Nets have nine home games on national TV so that means they’re selling space for 32 games.

The Indiana Pacers have already sold their space and the Raptors are expected to sell theirs soon as well.

“We’re not giving this away to an existing partner,” Yormark told Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. “We think this has great appeal to a global partner looking to launch their brand.”

Some fans are rubbed the wrong way by such on-court advertising, however it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear the league do this and should be muss less controversial than on-jersey advertisements. It’s really more of the sidelines than the court anyway. Besides, the Barclays Center logo is basically an advertisement already and it’s right in the middle of the court.

This might only be for one season too as the NBA is doing this as part of a pilot program. It will re-evaluate this idea after the season is over.

By the way, the $2 million will be split with the players as it counts toward basketball-related income. So the Nets aren’t pocketing the entire thing.

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