NBA Sponsor Spend Tops $1B For First Time With Nike, Jersey Patch Deals 
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 02:46PM in NBA, NBA, Nike, State Farm, finances, sponsorships, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

May 15, 2018: Led by the start of an eight-year $1 billion deal with Nike, and the launch of a three-year test program involving jersey partners, NBA sponsorship spending has topped $1 billion for the first time in league history.

The $1.12 billion sponsor spend in 2017-18 is up $259 million over the $861 million sponsor spend in 2016-17 and nearly double the $679 million sponsor spend from 2013-14.

Twenty-one teams have deals that include jersey sponsorships, accounting for more than $135 million this past season.

That figure alone represents a 16% increase in overall NBA sponsorship revenue, according to research and consulting firm ESP Properties, Chicago.

“Putting the impact of offering uniform ID into context, the increase is more than six times greater than the projected 4.5% increase in overall 2018 North American sponsorship spending and the 4.9% increase in overall sports spending,” according to the 2018 ESP NBA Sponsorship Spend Report.

State Farm is the NBA’s most active partner, with 68% of properties with a sponsor in the insurance category report a partnership with the insurance firm.

Insurance is also the most active category among NBA properties, with insurance companies are five times more likely to sponsor the NBA than the average of all categories, according to the 2018 ESP NBA Sponsorship Spend Report.

The $1.12 billion sponsor spend puts the NBA second among U.S. sports, behind only the NFL’s $1.2 billion. MLB sponsor spend was $892 million last season and the NHL was at $505 million.

Worldwide sponsorship spend in motorsports topped $5.3 billion last year, golf was at $1.7 billion and tennis was at $739 million, per ESP Properties.

According to research firm Statista, which provides information to companies and universities around the world, global sponsorship spend on sports topped a category record $63 billion in 2017.

Among other new deals, in March, the NBA unveiled a pact with YouTube TV to become the presenting sponsor for The Finals this June, a first for the NBA.

The multi-year partnership also includes YouTube TV as presenting partner for The Finals for the WNBA and the NBA G League.

"Our presenting partnership of The Finals marks another first in our longstanding and innovative history with YouTube,” Dan Rossomondo, NBA svp-global media and business development, said in a statement.

Other new NBA league partners include Headspace, Heroic Sport and Rakuten.

NBA sponsor spend was $799 million in 2015-16 and $739 million in 2014-15.

After State Farm, the NBA’s most active partners include Gatorade (58% of properties with a sponsor in the insurance category report a partnership with the brand), Anheuser-Busch InBev (58%), Tissot (45%), Coca-Cola (42%), Kia (39%), FanDuel (39%), Comcast (35%), Papa John’s (32%), Uber (29%), McDonald’s (29%), MolsonCoors (29%), Lexus (29%), Toyota (29%) and TicketMaster (29%).

Comcast, Papa John’s and Molson Coors replaced adidas, McDonald’s and Lexus on the Top Ten most active sponsor list.

After insurance, the NBA’s most active categories include Automotive (four times more likely to sponsor the NBA than the average of all sponsors), QSR (3.8), Medical (3.7), Retail (3.7), Lottery and Gaming (3.6), Beer (3.2), Sports Apparel (2.8), Media (2.6) and Telcom (2.5).

Quick-service restaurants moved up three places from the 2016-2017 season, beer dropped two slots to become the seventh most active category.

Banks fell off the Top Ten most active category list after being the eighth most active category last year.

The $1 billion figure was also hit by the NBA for the first time in another area.

On average, NBA teams are worth a record $1.65 billion, 22% over last year, and every team is worth at least $1 billion for the first time, according to a new report from Forbes.

The New York Knicks, valued at $3.6 billion, are the NBA’s most valuable franchise for the third consecutive year, but are up just 9% in value versus the previous year, according to Forbes.

The Knicks are followed by the Los Angeles Lakers ($3.3 billion), Golden State Warriors ($3.1 billion), Chicago Bulls ($2.6 billion) and Boston Celtics ($2.5 billion).

The average value of the 21 NBA jersey-patch deals is about $9 million, per industry analysts.

Among the leaders, the Warriors jersey-logo pact with Rakuten is valued at $60 million over three years.

The Lakers signed with e-commerce firm Wish, a three-year deal that analysts put at $12-$14 million annually, similar in value to an alliance between the Knicks and SquareSpace.

The Cleveland Cavaliers signed with Goodyear for $30 million over three years. The Celtics have a three-year deal with GE valued at $24 million.

NBA Teams With Jersey-Logo Deals (to date):

• Atlanta Hawks (Shareware)
• Boston Celtics (GE)
• Brooklyn Nets (Infor)
• Charlotte Hornets (LendingTree)
• Cleveland Cavaliers (Goodyear)
• Dallas Mavericks (5miles)
• Denver Nuggets (Western Union)
• Detroit Pistons (Flagstaff Bank)
• Golden State Warriors (Rakuten)
• Los Angeles Clippers (Bumble)
• Los Angeles Lakers (Wish)
• Miami Heat (Ultimate Software)
• Milwaukee Bucks (Harley Davidson)
• Minnesota Timberwolves (Fitbit)
• New Orleans Pelicans (Zatarain’s)
• New York Knicks (Squarespace)
• Orlando Magic (Disney World)
• Philadelphia 76ers (StubHub)
• Sacramento Kings (Blue Diamond)
• Toronto Raptors (Sun Life)
• Utah Jazz (Qualtrics)

NBA Signs YouTube TV Finals Presenting Sponsor

NBA Team Values Average $1.6B, Each Top $1B

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