NBA's Celtics and Vistaprint in multi-year jersey patch deal
The Boston Celtics, of North American basketball's NBA, have entered into a multi-year commercial partnership with Vistaprint, the global e-commerce company.
Vistaprint’s logo will appear as a patch on the left shoulder of the Celtics’ jerseys for the duration of the partnership, and the firm is now the Celtics’ exclusive marketing and design partner.
The partnership between is designed to “make a lasting impact on local small businesses throughout the Greater Boston area and across New England," according to the NBA team.
The Celtics added that the partnership will “provide resources for local small businesses, including financial assistance, educational resources, and marketing and design services.”
There will be integrations across the various digital and social media platforms of the Celtics, in addition to fan engagement and promotions.
The jersey patch rights also extend to the Celtics’ esports franchises in the NBA 2K League.
Rich Gotham, Boston Celtics team president, said: “This partnership will allow us to work together to bring out the best in both organisations… We share much in common with Vistaprint.”
Elsewhere in the NBA, the Sacramento Kings have become the first professional sports team to launch a Discord server, a means of creating an online community for fans.
The Kings said the server has been created to “enable fans to gather online to share in community, interact and expand access to exclusive experiences that have traditionally taken place in-person at Golden 1 Center.”
The team will host a series of Q&A sessions to launch the hub, and there will also be discussion centres and merchandise updates.
Vivek Ranadive, Sacramento Kings’ chairman and owner, said: “At the Kings we are always working to take advantage of new ways to engage and interact with our fans, and we are blessed to partner with industry leader Discord.”
Earlier this year, the Kings said they became the world's first sports team to open a contactless, checkout-free convenience store.Meanwhile, the expanded 2020-21 postseason for the NBA will include a play-in tournament for each conference.
The postseason will include 10 teams from each conference (Eastern and Western), with the teams between seventh and 10th engaging in the play-in tournament to gain access to the playoffs themselves.
The teams in seventh and eighth will need to win one game out of two in order to advance to the playoffs, while those in ninth and 10th will need to win two in a row.
The schedule was approved by the NBA’s board of governors yesterday, after the 2020-21 regular season, which starts on 22 December, and will involve each side playing 72 games, down from the usual 82, was signed off earlier this month.
The postseason will start on 18 May, and the playoffs are due to end in time for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics on 22 July.
The dates for both the regular season and the postseason have been pushed back because of the delay to the conclusion of the 2019-20 season, caused by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the US.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players’ Association, the body which represents the league’s players, came to an agreement in principle on the start date for the 2020-21 season, as well as an amended collective bargaining agreement, last week.
For the upcoming campaign, the salary cap has been set at $109.1 million, the same figure as last season.
With the NBA projecting losses of up to $4 billion if spectators are not allowed back into arenas for the new season, the CBA and players’ salaries would have dropped next year under normal circumstances, but the league and the union agreed not to make any alterations due to the unforeseen impact of the coronavirus pandemic.