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Sponsorship Deals Get Stickier as Practice Brings in More Money

Nike’s merchandising and marketing deal with the NBA for the next eight seasons is worth an estimated $1 billion, according to ESPN, and includes a significant new benefit. For the first time, the NBA is allowing the company that supplies the uniforms to put its logo on the on-court apparel players wear – jerseys, shorts and socks. But two NBA stars, who each have deals with non-Nike shoe manufacturers, recently made headlines for hiding the Nike logo on their socks during the game.

This article addresses the footwear controversy, which is just the latest example of the conflicts that have arisen across the sports world between official league/team sponsorship deals and athletes’ own apparel endorsement agreements.