The National Basketball Association made a record $1.46 billion in sponsorship revenue in its 2020-21 regular season, according to estimates by IEG, a sports partnerships consultancy firm.
The league, which gained more sponsors than it lost despite the turbulent pandemic-hit year, inked 13 new deals during the 72-game 2020/21 season.
“NBA sponsorship revenue is close to reaching the heights of the pre-eminent National Football League (NFL) that had total sponsorship revenue of $1.62 billion last season,” explained Peter Laatz, IEG Global Managing Director.
Of the NBA’s 30 teams, 27 now hold patch deals with brands, with jersey patch pacts boosting NBA sponsorship by almost 70% since 2016/17 – the last season prior to their introduction.
Teams such as the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Clippers added new jersey patch agreements during the 2020/21 campaign, with telecommunications company Motorola the only firm to maintain multiple contracts with the Nets, Milwaukee Bucks and Indiana Pacers.
“The star power, number of games, variety of sponsorable assets and global popularity of the NBA all contribute to the league’s continued growth. Some teams are getting more than $15 million per year for jersey patches and that is close to the $30 million a naming rights sponsorship can bring in annually,” Laatz added.