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What Sponsors Can Learn from Modern Album Releases

What Sponsors Can Learn from Modern Album Releases

4 minute read

  • Jersey Patch sponsors stem from consistent sources: Technology brands seeking awareness, Financial Institutions, and large local employers protecting their HQ market.
  • Brands outline their supporting activation programs to complement jersey sponsorships
  • Jersey patch sponsors have incorporated philanthropic ties to their investment

The NBA has become the first major professional sports league to allow ads on jerseys. During the 2017-2018 season, players in the NBA will sport corporate logos on their team uniforms. The ad space will be sold as part of a three-year pilot program where each team will have the right to sell its own ad space to sponsors. In consideration of the foregoing, MKTG has outlined the state of jersey sponsorship in the NBA, common activation strategies around the patch and potential implications for the league.
 

 

 

Jersey Patch Sponsors Stem from Consistent sources; Technology brands, Financial Institutions and local employers

There are clear commonalities in the roster of sponsors who have invested in the NBA jersey patch. Firstly, technology  brands are leveraging their NBA jersey patch sponsorship to drive mass awareness for their early-stage digital initiatives such as Sharecare and the Atlanta Hawks that are teaming up to improve healthcare for Georgia. Secondly, F.I.’s like Flagstar Bank (Pistons), Western Union (Nuggets) and Sun Life Financial (Raptors) have invested; brands in the F.I. space are mass brands that historically have greater permission to invest in signature branding assets that reach mass audiences. Finally, employers with a large presence in the region of their local NBA team have invested (Goodyear in Cleveland, Harley Davidson in Milwaukee)  back into  properties that can be positioned as supporting local passion points, be a source of pride for employees, and block competitors from gaining traction in an HQ market.  

Jersey Sponsorship side-by-side.png

 

 

Brands outline their supporting activation programs to complement jersey sponsorships

In the majority of jersey sponsorships announced to date, brands are clear in their messaging; jersey patches are part of a broader commitment to the property. Brands are deliberate in showcasing videos that highlight the brand synergies, collaborative tactics and creative activation strategies for teams and sponsor. As seen in a number of creative videos, numerous brands sponsoring NBA jerseys are planning to utilize their jersey patch partnerships through creative activation strategies. Both Sharecare and Fitbit are leveraging their partnership to tackle health and wellness through their digital platforms. Sharecare is activating around their jersey sponsorship with their ‘Sharecare Movement’ in collaboration with the Atlanta Hawks. In contrast, FitBit and the Minnesota Timberwolves are exploring ways to leverage and integrate their technology to improve player’s performance, and assist fans in making healthier choices during games. Jersey patch sponsorship is isolation can be perceived as an awareness-driving media buy. By complementing the asset with an integrated activation, sponsors will resonate deeper with fans.

 

 

 

Jersey patch sponsors have incorporated philanthropic ties to their investment

Many NBA jersey patch activations are rooted in community and philanthropic programs. A number of jersey sponsors are using their relationship with NBA teams to show local support in communities and to provide a measurable impact to builder a deeper connection with consumers. General Electric, Flagstar Bank, Sun Life Financial and Qualtrics are sponsoring brands that are activating around their jersey patch deal through objective broader philanthropic initiative. Along with the reported 3-year $21MM jersey patch deal, General Electric has committed another $50MM to improve STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in Boston Public Schools. In comparison Flagstar Bank is partnering with the Detroit Pistons on an education initiative that will benefit schoolchildren in Detroit. Furthermore, Flagstar Bank will be the presenting sponsor of the Detroit Pistons Math Hoops Community Relations Platform with the core focus on helping students learn math skills through NBA statistics. The NBA jersey can a source of pride for fans and jersey patch can be seen by some as the over-commercialization of an important fan symbol. Adding philanthropic components to the activation helps to alleviate the risk of fan backlash.


With the NBA season approaching, jersey sponsors will be competing for share of voice on and off the court. Brands need to be increasingly conscious of the execution of their activation strategies, making it flexible enough to adapt to different markets. As the NBA season draws near, sponsors will continue to make a concerted effort to innovate beyond the patch to connect and resonate with fans.

Full Disclosure: MKTG Canada supported Sun Life Financial through the strategy development and negotiation process for the Toronto Raptor’s jersey patch sponsorship deal

With the NBA season approaching, jersey sponsors will be competing for share of voice on and off the court. Brands need to be increasingly conscious of the execution of their activation strategies, making it flexible enough to adapt to different markets. As the NBA season draws near, sponsors will continue to make a concerted effort to innovate beyond the

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