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Ewww: NBA Refs’ Uni Ads Even Worse Than We Thought

Earlier this month, I reported that NBA refs would soon begin wear advertising patches, paid for by a Middle Eastern airline. The advertisements were due to debut during the All-Star Game and would continue to be worn when the regular season resumed.

In that report, I shared a photo that the league had released, showing the advertisement on a referee’s chest, like so:

As it turns out, that was only half of the story — literally. When the All-Star Game took place last night, each ref was wearing two patches — one on the chest and one on the sleeve:

And in a truly nauseating spectacle, employees of the advertiser presented the game ball to the refs prior to the game:

The NBA’s regular season — and the refs’ jersey ads — will resume on Thursday.

Comments (11)

    This so wrong on so many levels. Mandatory pre season games in the Emirates desert in empty gyms with the AC on at full blast are to be expected. Or the Euro step move changes its name to Emirates step.

    I don’t mind the sleeve ads all *that* much (with the caveat that I’d prefer them to disappear altogether, but that ship has clearly sailed). The chest ad is really, really bad, though. It’s unnecessary and sticks out so much. Definitely a poor execution of an already-bad idea.

    Agreed. As the saying goes, comparing the two patches is like picking the nicest guy in prison…but yes, the sleeve ad, though terrible, is “less bad” (?) than the chest logo, which looks like it was just slapped on with a piece of red tape as a complete afterthought. The sleeve logo at least looks a little more…intentional? I dunno, it’s all so depressing.

    Refs should always maintain impartiality, and advertising simply ruins that.

    And I mean, if you owned a team that played in American Airlines Center, Delta Center, United Center wouldn’t you be kind of annoyed?

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