It was only five short years ago that baseball fans nearly formed a full-scale mutiny against Major League Baseball for the league’s plan to advertise the movie Spider-Man 2 on the bases at the 2004 All-Star Game. It was a simpler, purer time in sports - except for all those ‘roids, of course. Oh, and the global economy hadn’t taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque into the proverbial crapper it’s in today.
(Ladies and gentlemen, your 2011 Chicago Bulls!)
Since those halcyon days of yore, sports leagues have kicked up the selling-out process up several notches as leagues dig deep to generate new sources of revenue. There was only a mild outcry from the more crotchety corners of the punditry when the NFL announced it would allow advertisements on practice jerseys (as long as they weren’t porn-related, that is). At the time, Mark Cuban predicted the NBA would follow suit soon. And whaddya know, old Cubes was right again - starting this season, NBA teams will sell ad space on its practice jerseys, and there’s been barely a peep about it from anyone.