It's the logical next step. Try to convince yourself it's not. Now that the first major U.S. sports association is going to sell ads on jerseys, it's time to let high schools cash in on the logical extension of putting advertisements on high school soccer jerseys.
Anybody who plays soccer knows that soccer jerseys are expected to have advertisements on them. International soccer and U.S. professional soccer organizations and club teams all cash in on these partnerships.
It wouldn't raise an eyebrow. But, unlike the NBA, you have to have some visibility guidelines.
This is why I like what the NBA did; they just raised money for high school soccer teams without even trying and put this back into the conversation that every principal and athletic director are having to raise new funds.
Let's face it. Soccer programs aren't getting football money.
That's why I like what the NBA did... it shows how poorly it can be done. It shows what it looks like to be forced.
So, there's a more natural transition between the current jersey landscape in soccer and the ad layouts look a ton better. For this reason, I support the petition to have the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) pass a by-law that would allow advertisements on high school soccer jerseys. The whole jersey... not some brand logo that looks like they made the shirt. Immersive: With team's using the sponsors color schemes and logo throughout the fan experience.
And don't tell me it's going to add a commercial element to sports. Boosters, concession partner fundraisers (hello Chic-fil-A who owns the space), banners on the outfield fence, and sports programs that get printed up are already there. Just because they aren't done well most of the time, doesn't mean they aren't there.
HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES LOVE A GOOD SPONSOR - ESPECIALLY WHEN IT LOOKS PROFESSIONAL. GET THIS GARBAGE OUT OF HERE.
Nobody looks at banners two hundred yards away with text on them that is unreadable and design that is freshman at best.
Why would high school sports like soccer want to miss this? It's in their wheelhouse and could turn a smaller sport into a revenue-generator for many schools.
Additional jerseys can be used as giveaways to fans and this can allow sponsoring partners to really engrave their brand into the heart of the fan base.
Just doing some early valuations with a lot of variables unaccounted for, but I think you could see 5-year; $50,000 deals at the school district level become very common and what high school soccer program couldn't use that kind of dough.
Think about markets with no professional sports? Friday night news broadcasts? The visceral connection with the local schools? One smart partnership package like this could put soccer on the revenue-generating (and pride-generating) map.
I am hoping the NFHS considers backing a move like this. The state organizations throughout the United States could reinvigorate high school soccer and really support their schools. If you agree, here's the petition.
As always, comments and discussion welcome... just keep it jersey level high.