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Report: NBA To Sell Ads On Court, Backboards

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The NBA will join the NHL, as well as MLB, and have advertising on the court during the 2013-14 season.

According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, NBA league officials have agreed to allow teams to sell advertising on the court in front of team benches, as well as the ‘camera-visible’ area on top of backboards.

MLB allows advertising on the outfield fence, and the NHL allows advertising on the ice, as well as on the boards surrounding the ice.

As for how much the teams may be able to make from the deal, that’s still up in the air:

A league source said no specific valuation has been assigned to the new sales areas, but multiyear, multimillion-dollar deals are expected, with teams signing package deals that would provide an advertiser with visibility in both places. One team executive said the deals could range anywhere from mid-six figures to around $2 million annually, acknowledging that the value of the signage will vary widely by market.

 “The location of [the new signage] is elegant in that it will get a lot of exposure without cluttering the court itself,” a league source said. “It is a very pure local issue.”

This is a step in finding new revenue for teams, who face the same battle many sports teams face: getting people in the building. As the at-home experience improves, the need for revenue that is potentially lost by selling fewer tickets becomes essential.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has supported advertising on NBA uniforms in the past. The NFL, NHL and MLB do not do that, but it is prevalent in MLS.

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