The Celtics will now join the Sacramento Kings and the Philadelphia 76ers as the only teams in the NBA that have jersey ad sponsorships for the 2017 – 2018 season. Here is a blurb from the BostonGlobe.com regarding how the partnership came together.
Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca knew General Electric chief executive Jeff Immelt wanted to use the company’s move to Boston as a way to help change its image and to boost its global profile as a digital industrial giant so Pagliuca approached Immelt, an old friend from his Harvard Business School days, almost immediately after GE arrived in August with a proposition: Sign up as the Celtics’ first jersey sponsor, and also become a tech partner with the team, to take advantage of a new NBA rule allowing corporate logos on uniforms.
Let’s break this down by taking a look at what these jerseys will look like with the logos.
My initial feeling is that they look pretty suave TBH. The logo has to be 2.5 inch X 2.5 inch so it does not look ridiculous when on the court. Another important note is the logo jerseys will only be sold at team controlled retail to reinforce that sale, which can potentially open doors to an official naming rights deal similar to what occurs in the EPL (English Premier League for you non-soccer peeps).
A problem that I can see occurring in the front offices/sales teams across the NBA is educating the employees how to go about with the deal. Given my experience with a Professional Sports team as an Account Executive, selling advertising and hospitality, your days are crammed and being away from your office and having to be educated on the specific angle takes a lot of time. Time that can be used to bring in deals that have established activation that companies know and appreciate. So some teams might not even have a partnership deal in place for the upcoming season.
Another thing is teams and companies are struggling to find the value in the logo patch. According to a quote from ESPN.com from an NBA Senior Sales Executive “We’re all out there selling it at once. One big brand told us they’d received [jersey patch] proposals from 18 NBA teams.” That can’t necessarily be beneficial for anyone, no? I imagine that each team is offering different amounts for the partnership based off the markets they belong in as well. Milwaukee and Boston are two completely different markets and if the GE-Celtics deal is $7 million, I can’t imagine Milwaukee being able to match that. Having a different corporate sponsorship for each NBA team would probably be best for the NBA and the companies involved. GE having moved its global headquarters to Boston makes perfect sense to hop on as the logo sponsor. I’m sure there are companies in each NBA city, similar to GE, that would love to step up to the plate and work out a deal that involves brand activation, usage of the company’s products and having the perks of a company box/being treated like royalty around the arena.
That’s enough smart people talk for me. But we can at least say this, the jerseys will never be worse than what NASCAR Jump Suits look like.
Anyways, what are you thoughts on the jersey sponsorships? Yay or Nay? Do you have some inside info that you are willing to share with your pals here at EntryRevel? Slide into either @EntryRevel or @AyePaisano DMs on Twitter, we would love to talk about it more with you. Until next time folks.