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ON BRAND

What every NBA jersey sponsor says about its team

Warriors NBA guard Stephen Curry in the team's latest uniform with a Rakuten sponsor pathc
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY
Warriors NBA guard Stephen Curry in the team's latest uniform.
  • Adario Strange
By Adario Strange

Media & entertainment reporter

Published

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. 

NBA TeamJersey SponsorWhat they doVibes
Atlanta HawksSharecarehealthcareLive fast, live young
Boston CelticsVistaprintcustom brandingBookish beast mode
Brooklyn NetsWebullstock and crypto exchangeStartups and renovations
Charlotte HornetsLendingTreeonline loansPromises, promises
Chicago BullsZenni OpticaleyewearJordan’s gone, get Lasik
Cleveland CavaliersGoodyeartiresBlue collar and proud
Dallas MavericksChimeonline bankingYoung money
Denver NuggetsWestern Unionmoney transfersGold in them thar hills
Detroit PistonsUnited Wholesale Mortgagemortgage lenderFlip, rebuild, flip
Golden State WarriorsRakutene-commerce, shoppingThe future
Houston RocketsCredit Karmacredit scoresAnalytics as culture
Indiana PacersMotorolamobile hardware & softwareHoosier tech
Los Angeles ClippersHoneye-commerce discountsThe B-list, baby!
Los Angeles LakersBibigoSouth Korean food brandHollywood Squid Games
Memphis GrizzliesTBD
Miami HeatUltimate Kronos GroupHR software“Florida man” in the cloud
Milwaukee BucksMotorolamobile hardware and softwareCold brew champs
Minnesota TimberwolvesAuradata securityComputer Blue
New Orleans PelicansIbottae-commerce discountsSeems sketchy, but legit
New York KnicksSquarespacewebsite builder404 Error, but Broadway!
Oklahoma City ThunderLove’s Storesconvenience storesFamily first
Orlando MagicDisney Worldtheme parkSmoke and mirrors
Philadelphia 76ersCrypto.comcrypto exchangeFUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt)
Phoenix SunsPaypalonline paymentsCash desert
Portland Trail BlazersStormXcrypto e-commerce dealsInternet money swag
Sacramento KingsDialpadvoice and video commsIn the weeds, but relevant
San Antonio SpursFrost BankbankingBoring and proud
Toronto RaptorsSun Life Financiallife insuranceAt least Drake loves us
Utah JazzQualtricsonline data analysisNerds ‘R Us
Washington WizardsTBD

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