Crypto deals help fuel NBA sponsorship money to $1.6 billion – Reuters News in France and abroad

In this photo illustration a Coinbase logo is displayed on a smartphone with an NBA logo in the background.

Thiago Prudence | Sopa Pictures | Light flare | Getty Images

Cryptocurrency companies helped fuel NBA sponsorship revenue to a record $1.6 billion in the 2021-22 season, according to estimates from sports partnership consultancy IEG. .

That’s a 13% increase from the $1.4 billion in the 2020-21 season. During the 2018-19 season, the National Basketball Association raised $1.2 billion in sponsorship money. Sponsorship deals can include deals for arena naming rights and for companies to put their names or logos on players’ jerseys.

“The cryptocurrency category’s referral sending frenzy is unlike anything we’ve seen before,” said Peter Laatz, Global Managing Director of IEG.

Crypto partnerships are now the second most lucrative sponsorship category for the NBA, behind the technology category alone. Among the NBA’s crypto deals this season was a league deal with crypto trading platform Coinbase. CNBC reported that the deal is worth $192 million over four years.

According to IEG, other categories expected to pay the NBA more than $100 million per year include banking, telecommunications and commodities. Companies spending at least $50 million include Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi and AT&T.

Among the four major sports leagues, the NBA ranks third in sponsorship revenue. The NFL is No. 1 with nearly $2 billion in sponsorship deals for its 2021 season, according to IEG. And in March, CNBC reported that MLB earned $1.7 billion in sponsorships last season. The NHL secured $676 million in sponsorships for the 2020-21 season.

IEG’s projections come as the NBA Finals are set to begin on Thursday, when the Golden State Warriors host the Boston Celtics in Game 1 at Chase Center.

On the team front, the Los Angeles Lakers have agreed to a 20-year arena naming rights deal worth $700 million with platform Crypto.com. And the Warriors signed a $10 million global rights deal with FTX, a crypto derivatives exchange. The company also secured arena naming rights for the Miami Heat.

Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum #0 heads for the basket during the game against the Golden State Warriors on March 16, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California.

Jed Jacobson | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

NBA jersey ads are on the rise

Another category that contributes to the NBA’s bottom line: advertisements on players’ jerseys.

The NBA is expected to bring in more than $200 million this season from jersey patch deals. They include securing the Brooklyn Nets $30 million per season from brokerage platform Webull in September 2021. The deal topped the NBA at the time, but the Warriors overtook the top spot earlier this month when they renewed their agreement with Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten.

The terms of this agreement have not been made public. But league sources told CNBC that Rakuten will pay the Warriors north of $40 million a year. That’s up from the previous deal’s $20 million.

The people spoke to CNBC on the condition that they remain anonymous because they cannot publicly discuss team deals.

Jersey sponsorships have grown in professional leagues over the past year. The NHL, for example, added patches to uniforms and helmets during the pandemic. And MLB approved team uniform patches in its new player contract in March of this year. The NFL does not allow patches on uniforms.

Increased revenue from uniform ads and other sponsorship deals could help the NBA reach its $10 billion in total revenue this season. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said total revenue for the 2020-21 season was down about 35% from a year earlier after the pandemic cut the season to just 72 games. Revenue for the 2019-20 season, which was also partially impacted by the pandemic, was $8.3 billion, compared to $8.8 billion in 2018-19.

League sponsorship revenue is expected to continue to grow.

The league’s data rights deal with Swiss firm Sportradar – worth an estimated $1 billion – begins in the season 2023-24. The NBA’s TV deal also expires after the 2024-25 season, and sports executives expect that to eclipse its current $24 billion worth, or about $2 billion per season. The NBA also has a merchandise deal with e-commerce powerhouse Fanatics and a deal with Dapper Labs, the creator of NBA Top Shot NFTs.

In league agreements, companies also commit to buying advertisements for NBA national games.

For regular season 2021-22 games, domestic ad spend for NBA games reached $470.7 million, according to media tracking firm iSpot.

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Crypto deals help fuel NBA sponsorship money to $1.6 billion – Reuters News in France and abroad


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