Think of the last time you experienced live sports. For most of us, it was pre-pandemic (minus the 25,000 people who attended the Super Bowl). Back when we could sit shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers on folding chairs and knew what the bottom half of each other’s faces looked like. What do you remember from that experience? Was it the nail-biting fourth quarter? Seeing the new superstar rookie IRL? Or, if you’re like me, the chicken tender basket and lukewarm beer? But, were you bothered by the branding and team sponsors?
Download 40+ Brands Sponsoring NBA Teams
The arena, theme night, merchandise, and jumbo-tron are all sponsored, but we’ve come to accept the relationship between corporations and sports teams. In the last five years, these relationships have evolved quickly with logos on everything from NBA jerseys to NHL rinks.
We’re seeing a lot of experimentation, too. According to GumGum Sports, Bud Light Seltzer sponsored #dudewithsign to attend and showcase his sign during the 2021 Super Bowl! Bud Light generated $700K in sponsorship value from this one exposure during the CBS broadcast. GumGum also noted that Super Bowl 2021 generated $95.8M in sponsorship value from the top five sponsors.
With more access to fan data than ever before, brands are able to test team partnerships and, based on the success of big-name corporations, smaller, regional brands are now getting in on the action, as well.
For example, the New Orleans Pelicans signed Zatarains, a well-known Louisiana-based food and spice company, as their jersey patch sponsor at the start of the 2017-2018 season. The homegrown brand recognition resonated with Pelicans fans and increased positive sentiment toward both the team and Zatarains. Many other NBA sponsors have leveraged the jersey patches to grow awareness for their brand like ROKiT, Wish, and Rakuten.
For sports marketers, the most relevant metric is the generated brand value. According to HookIt, adjusted ad value measures a brand promotion value generated from social posts by partners, including athletes, teams, and the NBA.
At the beginning of the 2020 NBA season (pre-COVID):
- Nike received $143 million in brand value received in the first two months.
- 99% of Nike’s value came from logo exposure as opposed to text promotions.
- State Farm received the second most value by being one of the NBA team sponsors for the Rising Stars game.
- The insurance brand was also featured as the principal sponsor of the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night 2020, which included the Dunk Contest.
Interest in accessing even more brand relationships?
Download Winmo’s list of 40+ NBA team sponsors with notable sports relationships and select sponsorship contacts here.