The dawn of the new NBA is upon us. After it was announced in April by the board of governors that they had approved jersey sponsorships, such as KIA's on the All-Star uniform, the Philadelphia 76ers have become the first team to announce a partnership.
The Eastern Conference franchise, who finished with a league-worst 10-72 record, and are the favourites to claim the number one draft pick in tomorrow's lottery, have announced a partnership with online ticketing marketplace StubHub.
The patch will appear on the left arm strap and will measure around 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches, in accordance with regulations. The StubHub design will be of white background on both Philly's road and alternative strips, with text matching the primary colour of the uniform. The home jersey will feature a blue background with white text.
In a statement released on their official website, Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil said: “This marks another groundbreaking first for the Philadelphia 76ers and StubHub. Our brands are now inextricably linked as we create lifelong memories for our fans in Philadelphia and around the world.
“Our partnership with StubHub continues to generate progressive and forward-thinking platforms created to improve the fan experience and advance our industry. The essence of our relationship with StubHub is our shared culture and ambition to innovate, which drives us to reimagine traditional partnership activation and continually ask, 'what if'?"
While Scott Cutler, the president of the ticketing company, added: “Since day one, StubHub has been a pioneer and innovator within the live entertainment ecosystem and we could not be more excited to join the Philadelphia 76ers in making history with this ground-breaking partnership.
“The Philadelphia 76ers are not only a beloved global brand, they also serve as incredible partners and collaborators for StubHub – and we look forward to continuously innovating and improving the fan experience together.”
The deal is for three seasons and will expire in the summer of 2019.
A number of franchises are likely to follow suit as the NBA looks to expand their revenue streams.
Advertising is a huge way for franchises to make money and we already see branding on almost every aspect of life in the association.
However, the announcement in April meant jerseys were no longer exempt from the advertising treatment. There are restrictions on the number, location and size of branding and, in truth, they are hardly noticeable.
The NBA is the first major American sports league to trial jersey ads and it could set the trend for others such as the NFL and MLB to try their luck in the future.
Some fans have reacted badly to the move, but the patches will not be on uniforms sold for retail purposes.