Trending: A corporate slam dunk – should the NBA sell its shirts?

 

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The Independent Online

American sports may be littered with ad breaks, but when it comes to rampant consumerism there's one area where it's left behind by its global brethren: shirt sponsorships.

While English football has been used to kits being sullied by corporate logos since the late Seventies– when Derby, Liverpool and, er, Kettering Town blazed the trail – the four big US sports of baseball, football, basketball and ice hockey – have thus far kept their shirts free from the influence of big business (besides the kit manufacturers, of course). But it might not stay that way. In a move that will worry wearer's of the LA Laker's yellow and purple or the Phoenix Suns' purple (pictured), marketing executives of the NBA – which is said to be losing $300m (£190m) a year – have announced that they'll be discussing the possibility of shirt sponsorship at the league's next governors' meeting on 12 April.

"We owe it to our league and teams to evaluate the opportunity," said Mark Tatum, the league's succinctly named executive vice-president of global marketing partnerships. Cynical eyes may read it as: "SHOW US THE MONEY!"

Let's hope it doesn't happen – one of the worst things about

being the kind of mug who buys football shirts is having to simultaneously plug random brands while supporting your team.

And they look a lot worse, too... as charming as the idea of Kobe Bryant wearing a giant Mr Pringle face on his shirt is.

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