Daily fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel will not be allowed to advertise on NBA jerseys, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
DFS a no-go for jerseys
Rovell was reporting on the parameters for allowing logos on NBA jerseys, a development that first came to light last month. NBA teams can start selling a small space on jerseys worn in games starting with the 2017-18 season.
There are restrictions on who can advertise on jerseys, however, and that appears to include DFS sites:
NBA teams can do marketing deals with daily fantasy companies, but daily fantasy company logos will not be allowed on NBA jerseys
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) May 4, 2016
DraftKings and FanDuel, of course, already have sponsorship deals in place with most of the teams in the NBA. FanDuel has an overarching partnership with the NBA, which has equity in the DFS company.
Why not DFS on the jerseys?
There was no immediate indication from the NBA or Rovell of why the league made the decision to exclude fantasy sports companies, specifically.
The league also said advertising related to “gambling” would not be allowed, per Rovell. But NBA Commissioner Adam Silver is on the record as saying DFS is not gambling but a game of skill.
It is a particularly curious decision in that there are fantasy sports logos on the jerseys of WNBA (i.e. the New York Liberty) and NBA D-League franchises (i.e. Philadelphia 87ers).
Of course, right now, the legality of DFS vis a vis state gambling law is a constant point of contention in a number of states. That includes some of the states with NBA franchises (most notably Illinois, New York and Texas).
Short of further explanation from the league, it’s not entirely clear why this distinction is being made for DFS. It’s also not clear if the DFS sites would be interested in that kind of new marketing investment in the current environment.