NBA sponsorship hits record high thanks to crypto deals, reaching $1.6B in 2021-22 season
Crypto deals led to record sponsorship revenue for the NBA, which is set to reach $1.6 billion in the 2021-22 season, CNBC reported, citing research data from IEG, a sports partnerships consultancy.
For comparison, in the 2018-19 season and 2020-21 season, the NBA earned between $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion in sponsorship money.
However, the crypto category emerged as the winner of sponsorships this season. It is the second most lucrative category after technology. The technology category contributed just over $170 million, while the crypto category brought in around $150 million, according to IEG data.
IEG’s Global Managing Director Peter Laatz reportedly said:
“The cryptocurrency category is sending out as many sponsors as we have never seen before. “
Crypto sponsorships include deals such as naming rights for non-arenas or displaying crypto company logos and names on players’ jerseys.
The NBA reportedly expects more than $200 million from transactions on players’ jerseys alone.
The sponsorship of the team base was also on the rise. In November 2021, Crypto.com bought the Lakers’ Staples Center naming rights for $700 million and renamed it “Crypto.com Arena.”
The Brooklyn Nets also entered into a multi-year jersey partnership with trading platform Webull, agreeing to receive $30 million a year. The details of the deal were not disclosed.
In December 2021, the Golden State Warriors sold their international rights to FTX for $10 million. The FTX logo will also appear on the team’s jerseys. However, in early May 2022, the Warriors renewed their contract with Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. The deal will reportedly net the Warriors $40 million annually.
Players also make individual deals with crypto companies. In December 2021, Kevin Durant agreed to promote Coinbase on all of its major business platforms, while in January 2022, LeBron James partnered with Crypto.com to help elementary school students learn about blockchain.
In December 2021, Michael Jordan partnered with Solana to launch a new community platform. Spencer Dinwiddie and Bitrefill recently collaborated to launch a Bitcoin sneaker.