Corporate sponsors spent an estimated $1.12 billion on the NBA this season, fueled by the new sponsorship patches on team jerseys. That figure comes from IEG/ESP, a division of ad agency WPP that tracks sponsor spending and ROI on the major US sports leagues. This is the first time NBA sponsor spend has topped $1 billion. For comparison, it puts the NBA between MLB ($892 million) and the NFL ($1.25 billion) in sponsorship spend. The $1.12 billion is 31% higher than the $861 million in NBA sponsor spend last season, a much bigger increase than was projected. Sponsorship spend in the big four pro leagues typically gets bigger every year, but the NBA spend grew by far more than expected.
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The jersey patches only account for $137 million of this year’s total, IEG/ESP says. That’s a small chunk of the $1.12 billion, but it’s $137 million that is entirely new this season, since the patches are new. The average patch deal pays a team $6.5 million per year, and most are two-year deals. The lion’s share of the $1.12 billion comes from league-level sponsors: big blue-chip consumer brands like Anheuser-Busch InBev, American Express, Frito-Lay and Gatorade (both part of PepsiCo), Nike, and State Farm, which IEG/ESP says is the No. 1 most active NBA sponsor. “Our partners continue to activate with us at extraordinary levels and integrate into our platforms year-round,” says the NBA’s SVP of global partnerships Kerry Tatlock.
Bobby Karalla: The Mavs have reached a jersey patch sponsorship agreement with Dallas-based @5milesapp. More too with it, including crypto and blockchain capabilities with purchasing tickets.
Arash Markazi: The LA Clippers have signed a jersey patch deal with dating app Bumble. pic.twitter.com/nQUO4iqA8K
On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Clippers became the 20th NBA team to sign a jersey patch deal with an advertiser. But the sponsor the team chose is a little different than some of the others. The Philadelphia 76ers have StubHub, the Cleveland Cavaliers have Goodyear, and now the Clippers have the female-forward dating app Bumble. The marriage between Bumble and the Clippers makes sense on a few different levels. The Clippers have the largest female leadership team not just in the NBA, but in all of sports. There are six women in top leadership positions with the Clippers, and choosing Bumble is a reflection of that. Bumble was founded by a woman, Whitney Wolfe Herd (who also co-founded Tinder), and the app is unique from other dating apps by having women make the first move and send the first message.
The Clippers will sport the patches on their jerseys starting Tuesday night, but they’re not going to be called patches. In keeping with the theme of gender equality, they’re going to be called “empowerment badges.”
Bumble, a social network company best known for a dating app where women make the first move, will place its logo on the uniform of the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. Bumble will pay about $20 million over three years, according to a person familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified because the terms are private. It’s part of a broader agreement between the company and Steve Ballmer’s NBA franchise.
Placing the logo on the jerseys worn by LeBron James, Kevin Love and the rest of the Cavs costs Goodyear $10 million annually. According to GumGum, a sports media valuation company, Goodyear’s return of investment on social media alone through the first half of the season has been more than $3.4 million.
That’s tops in the league, beating out the Golden State Warriors, Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks. GumGum says logos on NBA uniforms will generate over $350 million in value to companies with jersey sponsorship deals just on social media. The only better placement for an NBA sponsor: on the shoulder opposite the jersey patch where the logo of the league’s uniform provider, Nike, is stitched.
The Pelicans and Zatarain’s today announced a new integrated marketing partnership featuring the company’s iconic name, brand and logo on the team’s game jerseys beginning with the 2017-18 NBA season. In addition to the jersey patch, for every Pelicans slam dunk throughout the season, Zatarain’s will donate meals to the Second Harvest Food Bank charity. Second Harvest operates through food distribution programs, community kitchen meal services, nutritional education, and public benefits assistance.
The New York Knicks became the 17th NBA team to sign a deal to wear an advertising patch on their jersey, announcing Tuesday that the logo of website publishing platform Squarespace would grace its uniform. As part of the partnership, the Madison Square Garden Company, owners of the Knicks and the Garden, and Squarespace will provide financial support and give digital advertising opportunities to local small businesses that use the website platform.
The NBA is permitting teams to put advertisement patches on their jerseys beginning this season, and South Florida-based Ultimate Software has won the competition to occupy that space on Heat jerseys, according to two league sources. The Heat confirmed our story.
The Los Angeles Lakers will wear the Wish logo on their jerseys starting this season after agreeing to a three-year deal with the California-based e-commerce mobile app company. The Lakers’ multiyear deal with Wish — a company that rose to prominence recently as a sponsor of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight — will be for $12-14 million annually, as first reported by the Sports Business Journal. The jersey sponsorship ranks second behind the Golden State Warriors’ deal with Rakuten, which is worth $20 million annually and includes naming rights to the Warriors’ team facility.
Add the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat to the list of teams that will sport a sponsorship patch on the upper left corner of their jersey this season, as both teams announced Thursday that they have signed partnership deals with local companies. The Lakers are partnering with Wish, a California-based e-commerce company, on a three-year deal worth $12-14 million annually, according to Sports Business Journal.
Los Angeles Lakers: #LAKERSxWISHapp
Miami HEAT: Miami HEAT x @UltimateHCM #UltiHEAT
Mike Bresnahan: For three years, the Lakers will wear the uniform patch of the Wish company, a mobile-only shopping experience for fashion, electronics, etc
Ira Winderman: The Heat formally announce their new uniform-patch sponsor. pic.twitter.com/9wOlgJQPGt
The NBA is permitting teams to put advertisement patches on their jerseys beginning this season, and South Florida-based Ultimate Software has won the competition to occupy that space on Heat jerseys, according to two league sources.
“We are extremely proud to have Ultimate Software as the first partner on the Miami Heat Jersey,” said John Vidalin, the Heat’s executive vice president/revenue officer. “This is truly a historic opportunity and we are thrilled that we will be partnering with a company based here in South Florida.” The ads will appear on the left shoulder of Heat jerseys during games.
The Golden State Warriors signed the largest of the NBA ad patch deals this week, selling the space on its jersey for the next three years to Japanese tech holding company Rakuten. Sources say the deal is worth $20 million a year, nearly doubling the second-highest deal signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Channel 2 Action News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution have exclusively learned that Atlanta-based Sharecare has reached a five-year deal to become the official jersey patch sponsor of the Atlanta Hawks. “We feel really comfortable saying that this Sharecare partnership is the second largest annual partnership behind our Philips naming rights deal,” Andrew Saltzman, Executive Vice President and Chief Revenue Officer for the Atlanta Hawks, told Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein.
The Milwaukee Bucks will announce Thursday that they have signed a jersey advertisement patch deal with motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson. The brand’s iconic orange, white and black logo will appear on the team’s white, green and black jerseys. Terms were not disclosed.
The brand’s iconic orange, white and black logo will appear on the team’s white, green and black jerseys. Terms were not disclosed. “When we first saw how it looked, we thought it was just so authentic and natural,” said Anoop Prakash, the company’s director of U.S. marketing. “Two brands with heritage in Milwaukee, built on grit and Midwestern values, who brought their product to the world and succeeded.”
The Philadelphia 76ers today unveiled two of the team’s four new 2017-18 season Nike jerseys in a digital content series launched on Sixers.com and StubHub. In “Made for the Moment,” the three-part content series presented by StubHub, 76ers guard Markelle Fultz chronicles his experience of putting on the 76ers jersey for the first time and the anticipation of representing the city of Philadelphia. The series final video will be released exclusively on @Sixers this afternoon, Fultz will share his reflections on the significance of wearing No. 20, officially announcing it as his 76ers number.
“The Philadelphia 76ers and Nike are two iconic brands committed to elevating the game of basketball through innovation while seamlessly honoring the rich traditions of both organizations,” Philadelphia 76ers Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Chris Heck said. “We’re excited to unveil the first of two jerseys with our incredible partner, StubHub, an organization as committed to engaging with fans in authentic ways and generating unforgettable live sports and entertainment experiences as we are. We are confident that the next two jerseys we unveil will additionally capture the spirit of this historic city, the imagination of new Philadelphia, and the passion of our loyal fans. Before the 2017-18 season has even begun, our ‘Welcome to the Moment’ campaign has generated national recognition and acclaim, and we look forward to continuing the momentum as the season progresses.”
The Denver Nuggets and The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) today announced a sponsorship agreement that pairs one of the leading global companies headquartered in Denver with the hometown National Basketball Association (NBA) team. As part of the three-year sponsorship, Western Union will be the first jersey patch sponsor for the Nuggets, with the Western Union logo adorning the jerseys of all players beginning in the 2017-2018 NBA Season. Last April, the NBA approved the sale of jersey sponsorships as part of a pilot program. The Nuggets become the 11th team to secure a jersey sponsor. Western Union will also be a co-presenting sponsor of the team’s 50th anniversary celebration.
One of the most anticipated jerseys to come from Nike’s new NBA deal was unveiled on Monday as the Charlotte Hornets showed off their Jordan-branded uniforms. The Michael Jordan-owned Hornets will be the only team in the league to wear jerseys featuring Jumpman logos instead of Nike Swooshes. The new Jerseys come with new naming conventions: The traditional home jersey is now known as the “association edition” and the traditional away is now known as the “icon edition.”
Coinciding with the introduction of the new uniforms, the NBA is eliminating its “Home” and “Road” uniform designations. Beginning with the 2017-18 season, home teams will pick which uniform they will wear and visiting teams will choose a contrasting uniform within their own assortment. Because of this change, Nike and the NBA worked together to create four core uniforms for each team, classified as “editions,” which draw from the rich heritage of the NBA and its franchises. The Association Edition, the traditional home white uniform, links the 30 teams as members of the most exclusive basketball club in the world. It represents an achievement that most athletes have worked their entire lives to reach. The Icon Edition, previously known as the road uniform, represents the rich heritage and iconic identity that exists within each franchise. This edition utilizes the team’s primary color, a color that dominates the closets of the most diehard fans.
Darren Rovell: JUST IN: The @DetroitPistons have signed @flagstar to be the team’s jersey ad sponsor.
Jeff Zillgitt: Sacramento Kings sent out images of their new Nike uniforms complete with Nike logo and Blue Diamond sponsorship patch: pic.twitter.com/1mLXqfs2LZ” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>pic.twitter.com/1mLXqfs2LZ
It was widely reported that Infor, the company sponsoring the Nets jersey ad, paid more to have their red logo “pop” against the Nets black-and-white gear. It’s why the Nets got a lot more money —$8 million— than all but one team selling space on jersey. That one team was the Cavaliers, who have LeBron James. But on Tuesday morning, Darren Rovell tweets that the “pop,” the “clash” of red on black-and-white has been abandoned.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are jumping into the jersey patch game, signing a three-year deal for a Fitbit patch on their new uniforms. The Timberwolves announced the deal on Tuesday. The Wolves say Fitbit also will be featured in the renovated Target Center, including logging the new concession offerings into the Fitbit food section to help users make healthier choices.
The Cavaliers will receive more than $10 million annually through a new partnership in which Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company will place its Wingfoot logo on new, Nike-designed team jerseys for the next three seasons. The arrangement between the Cavs, Goodyear, and Turner Sports may be among the most lucrative in the NBA, according to sources with knowledge of the deal that was announced in a joint press conference Monday at Quicken Loans Arena.
The Cleveland Cavaliers reached a deal with Goodyear and will wear a patch with the tire maker’s wingfoot logo on their jerseys starting in 2017-18, it was announced today. The deal is worth $10 million per season, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt.
Patch deals with other NBA teams have ranged from just under $5 million per season to $8 million per season. The $10 million per year deal is the highest in the NBA, in part because the Cavs are one of the league’s best teams and are on national TV more than most teams.
As part of the agreement, Turner, which includes TNT, the cable network that will carry the Cavaliers’ playoff games in the Eastern Conference finals, will air free commercials featuring the Cavs and Goodyear and promote the partnership on various traditional and digital mediums.
Jeff Zillgitt: Here’s how that Goodyear logo might look on the Cavs’ jerseys next season: pic.twitter.com/AnskxaUvWb
Albert Nahmad: Jersey deals ($/yr est): CLE: Goodyear (TBD) BRK: Infor ($8M) BOS: GE ($7M+) SAC: Blue Diamond ($5M) PHI: StubHub ($5M) UTA: Qualtrics ($4M) The 24 teams that haven’t yet announced a jersey sponsorship deal yet now have a decent swath of deals from which to triangulate value.
The Cavaliers will carry another big piece of Akron with them starting next season when the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company’s Wingfoot logo appears on game jerseys.
The Cavs and Goodyear will formally announce the partnership Monday as part of the NBA’s three-year pilot program to sell ads on uniforms, starting next season. The pairing makes sense, as Cleveland’s star player, LeBron James, is Akron’s favorite son, and Goodyear is the city’s cornerstone company. It was founded there in 1898.
While Nike is set to take over the NBA apparel deal for the 2017-18 season, not all of the jerseys coming to the league next year will solely feature the Swoosh. The Charlotte Hornets confirmed this week that players on the team will wear Jordan Brand uniforms once Nike inherits the contract. In a press release posted on Monday, the team confirmed that it would be the only one in the league wearing Jordan jerseys. Michael Jordan is an owner of the Hornets and his Jordan Brand is owned by Nike, hence the connection here.
The new uniforms will be available first at the re-opening of the Hornets Fan Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina. Per the Hornets, the Fan Shop will play host to more Jordan Brand merch than it has in years past upon its fall reopening.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. will place its logo on the uniform of the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose superstar player shares a hometown with the tiremaker, according to people familiar with the deal.
The agreement — part of a first-time effort by NBA teams to sell corporate sponsorship of jersey patches — was described by people who asked not to be identified because the partnership hasn’t been publicly disclosed. While no financial terms were given for the Cleveland pact, people familiar with four previously announced deals had pegged their value at about $5 million to $10 million a year.
Instead of the Qualtrics logo on the jersey, a 5 For The Fight logo will be on the jerseys for at least the first season of the three-year deal between the two sides. 5 For The Fight is a charitable organization trying to eliminate cancer with $5 donations at a time with the goal of raising at least $50 million
While other NBA teams — the Boston Celtics (General Electric), Brooklyn Nets (Infor), Philadelphia 76ers (StubHub) and Sacramento Kings (Blue Diamond Almonds) — have reached patch deals, the Jazz are the first to forsake a corporate logo for a charitable one. “This is the right thing to do,” Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith said. “As much as I would love to put Qualtrics on it, this idea of raising $50 million for cancer research was something we couldn’t stop thinking about it. The Jazz were open to our ideas and how we wanted to use the patch.”
Qualtrics has been interested in a relationship with the NBA and had a brief discussion with the Jazz on arena naming rights. There is a business component to the relationships. Qualtrics is investing money in the Jazz and will provide the franchise with valuable information on the fan experience.
Jeff Zillgitt: Qualtrics will sponsor Jazz jersey, but patch will be logo for Five For The Fight, a charity for cancer research: 5forthefight.org pic.twitter.com/BC3LJVASxF
Jeff Zillgitt: Here’s a better look at Jazz jersey patch for cancer research: pic.twitter.com/frx5gqn2qA
Scott Soshnick: BREAKING: @cavs have jersey patch deal w/ @goodyear, sources say. Company based in Akron. @KingJames, of course, from Akron #sportsbiz #nba
The Brooklyn Nets have sold a jersey patch sponsorship to Infor, a closely held software company backed by Koch Industries Inc. The company will pay $8 million annually for the deal under the league’s three-year pilot program, according to a person familiar with the terms who asked for anonymity because the information is not public. As part of the tie-up, Infor will also provide data analytics and technology to support the team’s business operations, fan experience initiatives and player performance.
“Our alliance with Infor is a transformative partnership for both business and basketball operations and is indicative of the cutting edge and gritty culture we are building,” said Brett Yormark, CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “The patch on the jersey represents our deep engagement with Infor and the software company’s role in taking our performance to the highest level in basketball operations and the business side. We are looking forward to joining some of the world’s most innovative brands, like Ferrari, for the unique opportunity of instilling Infor’s proven business applications into our company.”
The 76ers signed a three-year, $15 million contract for jersey ads. The Kings will get the same amount, according to John Lombardo and Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal.
We know it’s not a lack of interest. Plenty of companies are salivating to get their logos on the jerseys of NBA players. So what is going on? The answer is complex. The biggest factor is market value. Teams’ top marketing executives are under pressure to create value for something that doesn’t have an established market — at least not in the U.S. Their nightmare scenario would include rushing to make a deal before other teams sign more lucrative ones. In other words, no team wants to be sold short. So what happens? Teams are waiting and hoping the early deals develop a lucrative market. They’re tentative even though it’s understood the revenues will vary wildly.
At least one team, we’re told, has spoken to player representatives and is seeking to offer the top players in a package that includes their endorsement with the patch deal. Another wants to make sure the patch isn’t just a way to avoid advertising on local TV and is asking the uniform ad company to also buy ads on other media.
What’s your opinion about the advertising patches that are going to be added to the uniforms next year? Paul Allen: “I’m a member of the committee that reviewed those things for the league. I think that additional revenue makes the league healthier. So the challenge for us, depending on the size of the market, is to sell those patches to somebody that’s going to also well represent the team and those sorts of things. So I think you’ll see that evolve over the next few years. You already see it in other sports, whether it’s soccer or basketball in other places. So I think we’ll all get very used to it quickly.” You don’t think it’ll be weird to see an ad on a Blazers jersey? Paul Allen: “Well it’s definitely going to be a change. But, again, I think additional revenues help teams and so we’ll all get used to it in the end.”
Yormark, the CEO of Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment, the Nets parent company, didn’t identify the brands nor give a timeline for when a deal could be done. According to Sports Business Journal, the Nets are seeking “high seven figures” from advertisers. The patch, which the NBA describes as Post-It note sized, won’t be worn until the 2017-18 season. There has been only one deal since April. between StubHub and the 76ers. And SBJ notes, the market for the patches is much smaller than the league and teams had projected.
The Emirates Group is in preliminary talks to sponsor jersey patches for a number of National Basketball Association teams, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. Allowing advertising on uniforms is a new initiative for the NBA. People familiar with the league and team operations say the sponsorships are expected to generate $150 million in total revenue a year. The three-year pilot program starts in the 2017-18 season.
A deal with the NBA would allow Emirates to put its name on a 2.5-inch square patch on the left shoulder of the jerseys. It’s not clear how many of the league’s 30 teams the company is looking to sponsor. The Dubai-based aviation company flies to the following NBA cities: Boston, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, San Francisco, Washington D.C. and Toronto. The NBA declined to comment. Emirates didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Emirates bundle won’t include LeBron James’s Cleveland Cavaliers, according to people familiar with the discussions. The people asked to remain anonymous because the talks are not public.
Calvin Watkins: Rockets voted against this because teams have to share the money gained with each other. – RT: NBA on ESPN: Warriors asking $15-20 million a year for rights to advertise on jersey, most of any team. (via @darrenrovell)
It is believed that the Warriors, who won the title in 2015 but lost in the Finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers in seven games this year, are asking for more money than any other team. The NBA recently approved a three-year pilot program to allow teams to sell 2½-inch by 2½-inch patches on the upper left of the jersey opposite what will be a swoosh from Nike, which will begin its deal as the official apparel maker after the 2016-17 season.
Only one team has consummated a deal since the league allowed teams to start doing business in mid-May. The Philadelphia 76ers’ three-year deal with StubHub is worth $5 million a year, according to sources.
Indiana Pacers executives are discussing a new revenue opportunity that would have been seen as taboo just two decades ago: a corporate logo stitched onto the team’s uniforms. Rick Fuson, the Pacers’ chief operations officer, said the franchise is supportive of having an advertisement on the team’s white, blue and gold jerseys. In fact, Fuson said the Pacers are planning to have a corporate sponsorship deal in place for the start of the 2017-18 season, which is when NBA teams can debut sponsored patches on uniforms. “We are hopeful and look forward in talking to a number of folks who may have interest in that,” he said. “I’m confident that many teams, if not most, will have a great sponsor on the uniform.”
The NBA announced last month that it would be the first league among the four major sports to allow advertising on regular season uniforms as part of a three-year trial approved by owners. Teams will be allowed to sell advertising in the form of a patch, approximately 2 ½ inches x 2 ½ inches, beginning in the 2017-18 season, coinciding with Nike’s new deal with the league. “First off, hats off to Adam Silver,” Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil told USA TODAY Sports. “He’s a commissioner who will take opportunities and will make the right decision and sometimes the tough decision and he continues to lead through policy. He gives teams the opportunity to drive our business.”
The three-year deal is worth $5 million per season, according to a person with knowledge of the deal. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.
Scott Soshnick: BREAKING: @Sixers first @NBA team to sign jersey sponsor deal – get $5 million/year from @StubHub #sportsbiz #NBA
Q: What do you think about the NBA approving advertisements on jerseys for 2017-18? Mark Cuban: “I’m fine with them. Look, we put memorials on jerseys all the time that are just gonna be a little bit smaller than an ad would be and nobody says ‘oh that’s terrible, that distracts from the jersey’ when you’ve got someone who died or did something special. I don’t think it’s gonna change all that much.”
Sports Business Journal reports Monday that it’s unclear how much revenue the NBA will bring in from jersey ads — which it describes as “smaller than a standard Post-it note” — but Brett Yormark believes the Nets could rake in between $4 million and $6 million a year from what he calls “naming rights for your team.”
Teams will keep 50 percent of the revenue generated by their individual patch sales, with the remaining 50 percent being shared equally among the league’s 30 teams. The Knicks could get as much as $10 million, SBJ predicts.
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July 17, 2018 | 12:43 pm EDT Update
Alex Kennedy: Some of you have asked for clarification on the Orlando Magic’s talks with Isaiah Thomas. Thomas met with the Magic for several hours in Las Vegas, but the two sides obviously didn’t reach a deal. He signed with the Denver Nuggets shortly after.
Alex Kennedy: It’s worth noting that the Magic never made a formal offer to Isaiah Thomas, although the two sides did bring up money at one point during the talks. That’s where the confusion seemed to stem from in reports.
And then, an agreement. “Me having a real close relationship with coach Malone was probably the biggest key,” Thomas said. “And knowing that I wanted to go somewhere where they were going to allow me to be who I am, allow me to play to my strengths and at the same time be around a good group of guys that got the potential to be special.”