The NBA is one of the biggest and most popular sporting organizations on the planet. Therefore, it’s a prime hunting ground for sponsorship deals.
As there are multiple layers to the National Basketball Association, with the league, teams and players all investable, it’s easy to see why massive brands and companies want a slice of the action.
Over $8 billion a year is generated via sponsorship deals where the NBA is concerned, and the brands involved range from clothing giants through to cell phone networks. There is always a raft of companies from other sectors wanting to enter the sponsorship arena too, with gaming operators such as Party Casino, an online operator soon to open a Sportsbook, making them a possible candidate for a future mega-money deal.
In terms of the biggest sponsors, we kick off our list with none other than Nike. The Swoosh is one of the most recognizable symbols on the planet, and as it features on every strip in the NBA, it gets maximum exposure and generates more revenue than any other deal in place.
The shoe giant is also the official sponsor of NBA jerseys which generates over $140 million in revenue. The value Nike brings to the table comes through the exposure of their iconic logo.
State Farm Insurance
Insurance firm State Farm is Nike’s closest rivals in terms of being the most prominent sponsor, but the latter remains miles ahead. State Farm used to be the top league sponsor a few seasons ago, but in terms of the value they bring to the table, are edging close to the $60 million mark. The company is a primary sponsor of the NBA and were the principal backers of the Rising Stars game. State Farm were also lead sponsors for All-Star Saturday Night.
The NBA is made for drinks companies to get involved where sponsorship is concerned, and who better than PepsiCo’s Gatorade. In terms of the beverage brands out there, the sports drink isn’t the most prominent, but as it features as the official sports drink, it’s importance and popularity as a sponsor is integral. Over $35 million generates through the partnership between the NBA and the PepsiCo company. And it continues to play a pivotal role on the court.
Michelob Ultra and Microsoft Teams
We’re not sure if Michelob Ultra was an NBA sponsor prior to this season, but the beer brand has had a lot of visibility since the 2019-20 NBA season resumed after the coronavirus pause. Most apparent were their sponsorship of virtual fan experiences called Michelob Utlra Courtside that partnered with Microsoft Teams to bring “a digital experience that allows fans to appear and communicate virtually inside the arena during the games…” basically the ZOOM audience of fans you saw “attending” the games.
Other companies that are league-wide sponsors and that have received some visibility during games this last season include the following (in alphabetical order):
|Tractor Supply Co.|
The official roles where the NBA concerned are perfect for brands looking to gain exposure in return for a sponsorship deal. As we all know, time is crucial in professional basketball, so being the official timekeeper or jersey sponsor for the league is a position many companies covet.
It’s Tissot who are sponsors of the every shot clock in the league. That sponsorship helps to generate more than approximately $16 million in revenue, in what is another significant and mutually beneficial deal for all parties.
As you can see, sponsorships in the NBA are essential. Some people may focus only on the money the brands above pump into the top basketball league in the world, but the partnerships work both ways and lead to fantastic results for everyone. In return for funding, companies gain maximum exposure on one of the biggest stages around.