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Dunking Billboards—Are NBA Game Jerseys for Sale?

Recent rumors that the NBA is considering the possibility of allowing advertisers’ logos on players’ game jerseys – and may take up discussion of the issue at its next league meeting later this month – have the sports press and fan sites buzzing with conjecture and opinion, as well as flat-out trash talk from fans threatening never to watch another pro hoops game or buy another licensed team jersey ever again, so long as they live, so help them Michael Jordan. This article discusses the considerations and concerns for advertisers, athletes, venues and teams with regard to sponsorship of game jerseys.

This article was first published in the April 6, 2012 issue of Sports Litigation Alert, Volume 9, Issue 6. Permission for article reprint has been granted. 

Douglas N. Masters is a partner in Loeb & Loeb’s Chicago office, where he litigates and counsels clients primarily in the areas of intellectual property, advertising and unfair competition. Seth Rose is an associate in the Chicago office of Loeb & Loeb, where he counsels clients on programs and initiatives in the fields of advertising, marketing, promotions, media, sponsorships, entertainment, branded and integrated marketing, and social media.