As the league and National Basketball Players Association aggressively push towards a Dec. 22 start date to start the 2020-21 season, plans are to remove social justice/virtue signal messages that appeared on the backs of player jerseys during the Orlando bubble.
Do not expect empty spaces though, as the NBA looks to make up substantial revenue due to limited attendance guidelines and the fallout of last year's China controversy. The league plans to add a second jersey partnerships, which has had trial runs with the WNBA and G-League. Above is a WNBA jersey with three sponsors, Verizon and AT&T have appeared as league-wide partners. Advertising on warmups and shooting shirts will also be fair game under current plans. Additional sponsor opportunities will be created on-court, including areas near the basket where the teams woodmark or venue name traditionally are seen. The 3D ads familiar to those seen on soccer and other sports overseas would be one option.
On-field advertising on back of the pitchers mound and near the first and third base coaching boxes were used for the first time in Major League Baseball during the truncated 2020 regular season. The National Hockey League added additional on-ice advertising two years ago and additional sponsors have appeared on tarped section coverings since the pandemic. Many soccer leagues (Premier League and MLS included) have added a second sleeve sponsorship (to go along with the crest advertiser) within the past year. Sponsors on player shorts would be an additional option. Logically, jersey partnerships will eventually will be done for the NFL and NHL. The Canadian Football League has long had multiple jersey sponsors.
The NBA and other sports leagues cry poor, but have the cushion of numerous revenue streams including replica jerseys and video game contracts. Spaces are for sale - and will be gobbled fast.