The 2021-22 National Basketball Association season kicked off this week with a list of marquee matchups designed to bring fans back to arenas. This is the first season since 2019 the league is hosting games in nearly fully arenas, now that covid-19 cases have slowed in some cities and vaccines are widespread in the US.
Since the league is no longer playing games in a bubble or empty arenas and fans are once again part of the show, we can focus on some of the more fun details within the game. That includes paying attention to the sponsors who pay to rent a small patch of advertising space on the shoulder of every player. This year’s list of jersey sponsors represent a wide range of business interests that are, in many cases, interestingly congruent with the city and team the company has chosen to represent.
According to one report, NBA sponsorship revenue is up 70% since the jersey patch option was introduced in 2017, with some jersey sponsorship deals topping $15 million per year. From crypto exchanges to banks and even food companies, the cohort of businesses gracing the chests of your favorite NBA stars is a mix of historic names and obscure brands you’ve probably never heard of. Note: The Memphis Grizzlies and the Washington Wizards haven’t confirmed new jersey sponsors yet.