I saw a marvelous women’s basketball game the other night. My hometown Minnesota Lynx played the Bing Boosts.

At least that’s what their jerseys said.

I had no idea where they were from.

Someone pointed out that they were really from Seattle and their team name was Storm.

Not Bing.

Not Boost.

Apparently the WNBA has sold out. Ads are printed on their uniforms.

While race car drivers and tennis stars have sold the rights to put advertisements on their uniforms, and every football players seems to have a Nike swoosh on their jerseys, no league has gone so far as to remove the name of the real team in favor of a sponsor.

In fact, when I looked at the WNBA store, I saw other teams had co-opted their uniforms. The Bings were not alone.

Oddly enough, I saw a game last year and I just assumed the opposing team was named “Farmers.” I didn’t realize it was an ad!

Does this help branding?

Well, I had never heard of Boost before. So now I know who they are.

Score one for the WNBA.

But as for building the brand identity for the team, I think they fouled out.

How does this relate to you?

Well, do you have a zillion ads on your website or ezine?

Do those ads take away from your main message?

Do those ads confuse the reader?

If so, you might be in danger of ruining your brand in exchange for ad dollars.

There’s a delicate balance.

Be careful not to cross the line.