Here is all you need to know about why ads on NBA jerseys are a matter of when, not if: Manchester United is currently making $16 million a year on the sponsorship rights to its practice uniforms, and are so sure it can make more that the club has bought out its contract.
In 2010, United inked a four-year deal with DHL to splash the delivery company's logo on its training and warm-up gear; they would never be seen in actual games. The price was more than what all but a handful of Premier League teams are making on the sponsorship rights to their actual uniforms. Then, this past July, United found a new sponsor for their actual kits—General Motors, which will pay $559 million over seven years, or nearly $80 million a year. So the club looked at their DHL deal, and said you know what, we're getting hosed. Yesterday, it announced that it will end its DHL contract a year early, the sooner to make a buttload of cash from someone else.
"We have successfully negotiated an early buyout of our training kit agreement with DHL effective 30 June 2013," the club said in a statement.
"The significantly increased value of agreements concluded since entering into this agreement, such as our recent $559 million world-record shirt sponsorship with General Motors, leads us to believe that there should be strategic opportunities to further optimize the value of these rights."
So yes, its even more astounding that the club pays tens of millions of dollars a year just in interest on the debts the Glazers took on when they bought the team.