NBA Rumor: Jersey Ads

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Patch Money: The NBA piloted jersey patches during the 2017-2018 season and made them permanent in 2019. To date, the program has generated more than $150 million in revenue. Patch deals have ranged in average value from $7 million to $10 million per season. The Golden State Warriors’ deal with Rakuten is reportedly the league’s most valuable at $20 million annually. One expert estimates that the NBA could see a 20% decline in its patch sponsorship business due to COVID-19 spending cutbacks and lower television ratings — an unwelcome prospect as the league looks to recover from the financial hit it has taken in 2020.

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The National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Brooklyn Nets have named Motorola as their official smartphone partner and jersey patch sponsor. Starting with the 2020/21 season, Motorola’s batwing logo will replace cloud software company Infor on the front left shoulder of all Nets jerseys. It marks the second NBA jersey patch sponsorship for Motorola, which already appears on the Indiana Pacers’ uniforms in a deal reportedly worth between US$8 million and US$10 million.

As NBA teams brace for a pandemic-shortened 2020-21 season with few or no fans inside arenas, they will increasingly rely on the corporate jersey logo patch program as one tool to offset financial losses. The little 2.5-by-2.5-inch fabric patches have generated several hundred million dollars for teams since the program launched ahead of the 2017-18 season. Patch deals have ranged in average value from $7 million to $10 million a season, with the Golden State Warriors reportedly atop the league at $20 million annually.

The New Orleans Pelicans have signed a deal with Ibotta to be their second-ever jersey patch partner. The deal means that the Denver-based cash-rewards program will be featured on all editions of the Pelicans’ game jerseys for the 2020-21 season. Ibotta, which launched in 2012, is a free-to-use, cash-back rewards program for customers making purchases in-store, on mobile apps or through websites. It has accumulated more than 400 million downloads and has more than 1,500 brands and retail partners nationwide.

Despite having its season interrupted, a ratings drop for the championship games and uncertainty about next season, the National Basketball Association expects a “significant increase” in its jersey patch revenue. In an interview with CNBC on Tuesday, Amy Brooks, the league’s president of team marketing and business operations, said it’s “too early to tell” the exact percentage of the projected increase. But she added two-thirds of the NBA clubs are still locked into jersey patch agreements with the remainder of them “actively in negotiations.”

Ponturo said the NBA patch is a ”$1 million to $5 million opportunity right now” in a “buyer’s market” as companies are still navigating Covid-19. Several NBA teams are shopping patches, including the Houston Rockets and Brooklyn Nets. The Rockets’ deal with Rokit Phones expired, and the club did not sport the company’s patch logo in the NBA’s Orlando bubble. Gretchen Sheirr, the Rockets chief revenue officer, said the team’s patch is still holding its value on the open market.

One way it is looking to do that is through a new jersey patch sponsorship, according to Matt Webb, Pelicans vice president of partnerships. The team had a deal with New Orleans-based food and spice company Zatarain’s, which it signed ahead of the 2017-2018 season. That deal is currently up for renewal. Part of the impetus for a new patch partner is Williamson’s appearance on the cover of the upcoming NBA 2K21 videogame. Webb said once the team learned he would be featured there, it focused its conversations around the 2020-2021 season and which company would be represented on its jerseys. While some photos from the NBA 2K21 game have shown Zatarain’s patch on the Pelicans’ kit, others have shown it patchless. “We had to make some decisions on what next year would look like,” Webb said. “We are currently having discussions with Zatarain’s and hopefully over the next couple of months, once the schedule kind of resolves itself for this season and we understand how next season looks, we’ll be able to either make a renewal announcement with Zatarain’s or find a new partner.”

Rakuten Inc., which paid the Golden State Warriors $60 million for a three-year jersey sponsorship in 2017, is looking to extend the partnership as the National Basketball Association finalists head into the final season of their deal. The logo patch, on a player’s left shoulder and 2.5 inches (6.35 cm) on each side, is key to raising Rakuten’s brand awareness in the United States, said Amit Patel, who heads the e-commerce giant’s operations in the Americas, in an interview on Friday.
2 years ago via ESPN

Over the two seasons in which NBA teams have been allowed to sell space on jerseys to advertisers, there has been one holdout: The Oklahoma City Thunder kept their jerseys patch-free. That will end Saturday, as the Thunder have reached a four-year agreement with Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, an Oklahoma City-based national retail chain, the team tells ESPN.com. The company, founded in Oklahoma in 1964, will have its patch debut on Thunder jerseys during Saturday night’s nationally televised game against the Golden State Warriors.

I was told by an industry source (sports marketing, not eyeglasses) that Chicago-based Vivid Seats was close to landing this deal. What kind of shared values would an online ticket reseller share with the Bulls? A love of marked-up ticket prices? Now in defense of the Bulls, their vice president of marketing and communication Susan Goodenow, who is always a good(enow) sport with my questions, said Reinsdorf and the rest of the front office were impressed how Zenni does charitable work providing glasses to people who can’t afford them. While there’s no concrete plans yet, Goodenow sees the two partners joining forces in that regard.

The Philadelphia 76ers announced today that Beats by Dr. Dre (Beats), the leading global premium headphone brand, will serve as an official partner of the team. The entities have agreed to a multi-year deal, terms of which were not disclosed. “We are extremely excited to announce our partnership with Beats. The pairing of two iconic, global brands, in sports and audio, will enhance our fans’ already dynamic in-game experience,” Philadelphia 76ers Senior Vice President of Marketing Partnerships Chad Biggs said.

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.

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.

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.
3 years ago via ESPN

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.

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 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.

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.

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.”
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January 26, 2021 | 2:01 am EST Update

Nets hoping for Andre Drummond buyout?

Meanwhile, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported on a podcast with Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate, that the Nets have their eyes on Drummond who’s playing on an expiring $28.7 million contract. ”People around the league say the Nets are hoping that Andre Drummond, the Cavs center, gets bought out. That’s what people say they’re hoping for but that’s unlikely because Cleveland is still in it,” referring to the playoff hunt.
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John Wall: 'They thought I was done'

“I just wish I would have known up front and not have to beat around the bush to figure things out. That’s just my motivation there. They thought I was done. Basically, that’s how I feel. This is my opportunity to show them that I’m not done. But the most important thing for me is get the win. I don’t care how many numbers I have, it’s about getting the win. That’s the most important thing because if I get 40 and then we lose, the trade don’t look as bad from their aspect because they beat us that one game they did play us. So, my ultimate goal is to try to get a win for my team tomorrow.”
Well, that’s going to be hard to imagine once you hear his extended thoughts on playing the Wizards on Tuesday, which he shared with NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller. Now with the Rockets, Wall admitted facing the Wizards is personal after how his exit was handled, and that he is out for revenge. “Just seeing everybody that’s over there, a lot of people that’s on that side that probably didn’t believe I could come back to be the person I am. And probably some people that had a little say so into me being traded,” Wall told Miller. “I feel like it was a whole process and it wasn’t just something that happened overnight. I think this was in the works. That’s my motivation. Who wouldn’t want to beat the team that traded them and felt like I was done?”
“Most importantly, all I really wanted from the start of all of it was just to be told the truth. That’s the most important thing and what made it so hard for me to understand what was going on because I wasn’t told the truth. I understand it’s a business and things go on and people move on and you get traded, organizations in different ways. When I heard the rumors, I called and asked are these true or are these something not to worry about? From that day forward, all I heard was ‘no, those rumors aren’t true, don’t worry about it.’ In all reality, it was true,” Wall said.