Sun Life Financial Shines Light On NBA’s Toronto Raptors With Jersey Sponsor Deal
Thursday, July 6, 2017 at 01:42PM in NBA, NBA, Sun Life, Toronto Raptors, jersey logos, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

July 6, 2017: Sun Life Financial, a partner with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors for several years, has added significant visibility to the alliance by becoming the team’s first jersey sponsor.

The firm will have its logo patch on Raptors’ jerseys beginning with the 2017-18 season as part of the NBA’s new three-year test program.

Financial details were not released but was put at $5 million annually by industry analysts.

The expanded alliance will also be used to help raise awareness for the work Sun Life and the Raptors are doing to find a cure for diabetes, which Sun Life said was a "key business and community-giving priority across its global footprint."

Sun Life said it has already committed more than $17 million to the cause.

The Raptors and Sun Life said they would unveil full details about the diabetes program in the fall.

Toronto becomes the ninth NBA team to sign a jersey patch deal, joining the Boston Celtics (GE), Brooklyn Nets (Infor), Cleveland Cavaliers (Goodyear), Minnesota Timberwolves (Fitbit), Orlando Magic (Disney World), Philadelphia 76ers (StubHub), Sacramento Kings (Blue Diamond) and Utah Jazz (Qualtrics).

It was a double-marketing good day for the Raptors as All-Star DeMar DeRozan was named as the cover athlete for NBA 2K’s first Canadian cover, NBA 2K18 (due to hit retail Sept. 19).

"This is an exciting time in Raptors’ history and we’re thrilled to share it with Sun Life, an iconic Canadian brand (that) has been a trusted partner of ours over the past seven years," David Hopkinson, COO for Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, said in a statement.

"This partnership, while breaking new sports marketing ground, puts an important issue affecting our community first and represents an initiative that we can all take great pride in."

When the NBA approved and unveiled its three-year jersey logo plan in April 2016, commissioner Adam Silver said the move could generate approximately $100 million in revenue for the league. But he also indicated it could be much higher.

"We still don't know how much money this will generate," Silver said at the time.

Most of the deals unveiled to date have been in the $5-$8 million range annually.

However, a recent deal signed between the Cavaliers and Goodyear could top $10 million, according to industry analysts.

The NBA champion Golden State Warriors, which have not yet signed a jersey patch deal, were said to be asking $15-$20 million.

All patches will be 2.5 x 2.5 on the left side, with a Nike Swoosh logo on the right side, with Nike taking over as the league's official on-court uniform provider.

The Charlotte Hornets will wear a Nike division Jordan Brand as the team is majority owned by Michael Jordan.

According to Lisa Ritchie, svp/CMO for Sun Life Financial, "We’re thrilled to announce this new, first of its kind partnership with the Raptors and MLSE.

"These are great brands coming together, connecting with fans of the game and encouraging Canadians from coast to coast to live a healthy and active lifestyle. I look forward to the 2017-18 Raptors season when we officially launch this exciting program in support of diabetes and wellness," said Ritchie.

Toronto-based Sun Life also has sports alliances that include the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens and the Canadian Football League,

Sun Life had naming rights to the d’s Miami Dolphins’ home stadium from 2010-16 (now Hard Rock Stadium).

NBA Jersey Logo Deals (Estimated Annual Payment)

• Boston Celtics and GE $8M
• Brooklyn Nets and software company Infor, $4-$6M
• Cleveland Cavaliers and Goodyear $10M+
• Minnesota Timberwolves and FitBit $4-$5M
• Orlando Magic and Disney World $4-$5M
• Philadelphia 76ers and StubHub $5M
• Sacramento Kings and Blue Diamond $5M
• Toronto Raptors and Sun Life $5M
• Utah Jazz and research software company Qualtrics $4M

Disney Sees Magic In Jersey Logo Patch Deal With Orlando

Cavaliers, Goodyear Seek Global Exposure With Jersey Logo Pact

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