By Barry Janoff
Pacers Sports & Entertainment and the Indiana Fever said they have signed a new multi-year deal with national athletic retailer Finish Line that would include feature the Finish Line logo on Fever team jerseys beginning in the 2013 season.
Under terms of the deal, the Finish Line brand would also be integrated into Fever TV broadcasts and team merchandise, team advertising and signage at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, in-game advertising as part of the NBA's Indiana Pacers and Fever radio networks, and Web links on FeverBasketball.com and BankersLifeFieldhouse.com.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The Finish Line, which already has been a partner with the Fever, is headquartered in Indianapolis and has 641 stores in the U.S.
The Indiana Fever won their first WNBA title Sunday night, riding 25 points from all-star Tamika Catchings to defeat the Minnesota Lynx.
According to the WNBA, Indiana’s pact with Finish Line means that half of the league's 12 teams now have jersey-front sponsorship deals. The others are the Phoenix Mercury (LifeLock), Los Angeles Sparks (Farmers Insurance, pictured), Seattle Storm (Microsoft's Bing), New York Liberty (Foxwood) and Washington Mystics (Inova Health System).
The NBA said that it would allow "advertising patches" on game jerseys beginning with the 2013-14 season, which would be in addition to the logo allowed from adidas, the league's official uniform supplier.
Industry analysts said the NBA move could generate upward of $100 million in revenue for the league. Other sports groups in the U.S. that allow prominent ads on their official garb are Major League Soccer and Nascar. Other leagues, such as the NFL, allow marketers logos on practice jerseys but not on game-day gear.
“[This] agreement with Finish Line is one of the landmark moments in our franchise history,” Kelly Krauskopf, COO and GM for the Fever, said in a statement. “Finish Line is a widely respected national brand in the athletic retail market. Partnering with such a reputable and prestigious company as Finish Line will enhance our own branding and visibility in the Indiana sports community and abroad.”