Barcelona sponsor Rakuten reaches out to NBA's Warriors in jersey deal
Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce company which is now the shirt sponsor of Spanish soccer giants Barcelona, has agreed a high-profile deal with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.
The current NBA champions have signed a three-year agreement with Rakuten, under which the company’s branding will appear on the front left shoulder of the team's shirts from the 2017-18 season onwards.
The deal is worth $20 million per year, according to ESPN, which would make it double the highest NBA jersey sponsorship deal announced to date, namely that between the Cleveland Cavaliers and tyre brand Goodyear.
Under the NBA's three-year pilot programme a logo can be displayed on a patch measuring approximately 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches opposite the logo of Nike, the US sportswear giant which is taking over as the kit supplier of the NBA next season.
Last month, the Atlanta Hawks signed up Sharecare, a local digital health company, as their first patch sponsor.
The Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are the largest market teams yet to agree deals.
The Golden State Warriors will travel to China next month to take part in a pre-season game against the Minnesota Timberwolves that forms part of the NBA’s Global Games series.
In November last year, Rakuten agreed a four-year €220-million ($263-million) deal to replace Qatar Airways as the club's shirt sponsor beginning with the 2017-18 season.
The deal includes bonuses of €1.5 million for winning LaLiga and €5 million for winning the Uefa Champions League.
Until now, Rakuten has not been widely active in international sport although it is the title sponsor of tennis’ Japan Open.
Image courtesy of the Golden State Warriors