When the NBA owners decided to reverse its longtime ban on liquor ads at the beginning of 2009, the initiative had high hopes of driving further revenue during the current economic downturn. And to take the lead, the Los Angeles Lakers will be the first team that will allow courtside sponsorship ads by a spirits brand called 1800 Tequila.
While liquor sponsorships are no longer a novelty since the NBA’s decision to can the ban this past January, more than 20 of the 30 teams within the league have already inked deals with spirit brands yet they will be located in arena locations away from the floor.
The Lakers’ decision to allow courtside sponsorship is an aggressive move in order to take advantage of the prime real estate in terms of televised visibility.
So far, the only American sports league that have yet to allow sponsorships by any spirits brand is the NFL, but that may soon change once revenue slows from their current lottery ticket deals.
(Photos courtesy of TopBuzz and 1800 Tequila)