Brands on U.S. Sports Jerseys? Probably Just a Matter of Time

Horizon Study Finds Sponsored Team Apparel Could Generate More Than $370 Million in Ad Value

By Published on . 17

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- A new study by independent media shop Horizon Media reveals that sports jerseys are prime real estate for marketers. How prime? The study finds that corporate sponsorships on sports jerseys could generate more than $370 million in advertising value.

So regardless of how sports fans feel, at a potential ad value of $370 million it's just a matter of time before their favorite team jerseys start looking like billboards. Not surprisingly the NFL, despite having the least amount of "detections" -- or the times a brand or /sponsor can be viewed per game -- and shortest season, represents nearly two-thirds of that untapped ad potential. That's driven by the NFL's large TV audience and that a majority of its games are broadcast nationally.

The study, which evaluated two-thirds of all sports franchises, used a number of factors in determining potential ad values, such as logo size, the cost of a 30-second unit in each market, how many times a brand or sponsor can be viewed per game, and how long a brand or sponsor is visible at each detection.

Below are the top three jerseys from each of the four major U.S. sports leagues in terms of potential ad value.

National Football League

Credit: AP
Dallas Cowboys at $14,011,721
Known as "America's Team," the Cowboys are one of the most popular teams in all of sports and get a lot of national coverage.

New England Patriots at $14,011,721
Perennially one of the best teams in football with one of the league's most visible players, quarterback Tom Brady, the Pats not only play in the northeast TV market but are often the game of the week.

New York Giants at $14,011,721
Consistently a strong team, but the New York TV market drives the value of this franchise.

Major League Baseball

Credit: AP
New York Yankees at $13,803,011
Love or hate them, the Yankees, the most successful franchise in the history of sports, drive people to stadiums and viewers to TV screens no matter the market. On top of that, the team has one of the country's most successful private sports networks, YES Network.

Boston Red Sox at $11,522,219
The Red Sox also have its own network, are loved and hated by fans across the country, are based in the Northeast and drive viewership up in every market they go to.

New York Mets at $8,954,315
Currently a financial mess, but the team has its own network in the New York market, which equals a high ad value.

National Basketball Association

Credit: AP
Los Angeles Lakers at $4,059,744
With the best player in the league and a championship team in the L.A. market, the Lakers are a draw on TV not only at home but anywhere in the country.

New York Knicks at $2,775,182
Having its own successful channel and being in the New York market are the only reasons this team ranks this high.

Boston Celtics at $2,718,950
Northeast location and one of the more popular teams in the league make the Celtics are a big draw on TV in all markets.

National Hockey League

Credit: AP
Chicago Blackhawks at $1,372,007
Last year's Stanley Cup winner plays in one of the bigger TV markets in the country.

New York Rangers at $708,267
The New York market (again) and its own highly watched network make the Rangers the second-most potentially profitable hockey jersey.

Pittsburgh Penguins at $676,938
While it's not one of the biggest TV markets in the country, with arguably two of the three best players in the league, the Penguins are a big draw wherever they play.

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