Two Leagues That Let Their Refs Wear Sponsorship
Again thrust into the spotlight by last night's controversial Seahawks-Packers ending, the NFL referees are now the center of the sports universe. That means a lot of eyeballs on the arms of NFL referees each week, regardless of whether the call's a TD or INT. With all those eyeballs, might this all be resolved by a 3" 1/ 2-inch by 4" 1/2-inch patch? The kind already found on many NFL player jerseys during summer camp and the same kind that could bring the NBA a $100 million windfall? Maybe not, but it might be a start in the right direction.
While the space "between the white lines" has traditionally been commercially limited in the NFL, here are a couple other leagues that have sponsored referees.
Just imagine how much exposure a brand might have received from last night's game ending call alone? Surely, there are quite a few brands out there that would pay for the privilege of being on Ed Hochuli's left bicep each week. Not to say that a 3'x4' patch could solve all the issues of the referee lockout, but at this point, rather than fighting over a fixed pie, it couldn't hurt to explore some new ideas to increase it.