Bronocs may put ads on practice jerseys |

Bronocs may put ads on practice jerseys

Mike Klis
The Denver Post
Denver, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado –With the right deal, the Broncos could develop a new set of catchy nicknames.

How about Motorola Moreno? Conoco Clady? Maybe even Bank of America Brandon Marshall? (He wishes.)

Coming soon to Dove Valley: Advertisements on the Broncos’ practice jerseys.

“That is something we’re exploring as we move forward in 2009,” said Joe Ellis, the Broncos’ chief operating officer.

First, teams started selling their stadium naming rights to corporations. Now, there are going to be advertisements on practice jerseys. Could this mean the next generation will some day refer to the local 11 as the Xcel Energy Broncos or, ahem, Chevrolet Broncos?

“No plans at all for that,” said Brian McCarthy, NFL vice president of corporate communications. “To quote your former basketball player: ‘This is practice . We’re talking about practice .’ “

It’s all part of the NFL’s ever-increasing need to raise more revenue. Besides selling advertisement patches to companies that want to see their logos on Broncos players practice jerseys – and the midweek 10 p.m. sportscasts – the league has loosened its sponsorship policies regarding state lotteries.

And, yes, for the first time at least since the demolition of Mile High Stadium, the Broncos and the Colorado Lottery are in the process of forging a relationship.

Until this year, the league allowed state lotteries to advertise their logos in stadiums and game programs. Ellis thought the Colorado Lottery might have advertised at their old Mile High Stadium but not since the team moved to Invesco Field at Mile High in 2001.

What’s new this year is NFL teams can also put their logos on lottery tickets. Eventually, those Colorado scratch-ticket winners may have to first rub off a series of Broncos helmets or logos.

“Now that the door has been opened somewhat, we’re in discussions with the state lottery, and we’re hopeful we can establish a partnership with them,” Ellis said.

Previously, state lotteries fell under the NFL’s prohibited gambling umbrella. But with the economy sagging and other sports already connecting with state lotteries, the NFL decided to revisit its policy.

“I think we were the last in,” McCarthy said. “In regard to gambling, our concern is betting on the outcome of NFL games. This has nothing to do with a real sporting event. We became increasingly comfortable in loosening those restrictions. And as people know, the state uses lotteries to fund public issues.”

The Colorado Lottery supports the state’s parks, recreation and education programs. Coors will not be supporting the Broncos’ practice sessions. While the NFL has sponsorship deals with beer and distilled spirits companies, it doesn’t allow its players to have any participation in beer or tobacco ads.

But if Coca-Cola wants to practice with Champ, or a certain computer company likes the ring of D.J., Dawkins and Dell, then the Broncos are open to a new way of doing business.

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