Tha Sports Junkies 101

Best and Worst of The New NBA Jersey Sponsors!

NBA Jersey Keith Allison/ via


With Nike taking over apparel rights from Adidas this offseason, something that may have slipped under the radar is the new NBA jersey sponsors. Starting next season, companies will sponsor teams, and in turn, teams will display the company’s logo on their jerseys. According to Forbes, all logo patches will be 2.5 square inches or smaller. All deals will be structured as “three-year trial periods.” 11 teams have announced their official sponsors so far. The sponsors range from banks to electric companies to almonds. Yep, almonds. Did someone say sellout?

Philadelphia 76ers (Jersey Sponsor: StubHub)

I don’t hate this one, and here’s why. At least StubHub is somewhat basketball related. Fans can buy NBA tickets on StubHub. Therefore this isn’t the worst of the bunch. The StubHub patch is subtle, and it matches the 76ers colors. I give this one a 7/10; maybe people will actually buy tickets to see Philly play this year.

Cleveland Cavaliers (Jersey Sponsor: Goodyear)

The Goodyear logo is small and it doesn’t draw too much attention from the actual jersey. The golden-yellow small winged shoe gives off the impression that it belongs on the Cavs’ jersey. I assume Quicken Loans wasn’t an option for the Cavs because that would have been perfect. I’ll give Goodyear a 6/10 because they don’t clash with the Cavs’ stadium sponsor or their colors. Maybe they could invent some kind of “drive home safely” initiative to go with the new sponsorship. You know where to find me, Cavaliers’ marketing department.

Boston Celtics (Jersey Sponsor: General Electric)

First of all, I’m not buying the whole “innovation, performance, leadership” mantra. It seems like a stretch to me, although it isn’t all that surprising. General Electric is not your typical sports world sponsor, maybe if they were in charge of power in the TD Garden this would make sense. They would have been better off sponsoring the Celtics stadium instead of their jerseys. GE Garden? That has a ring to it, or maybe it just rhymes with TD Garden. 4/10 Boston, thank goodness your performance on the court can distract from your mediocre choice in sponsors.

Utah Jazz (Jersey Sponsor: 5 For The Fight Charity)

I can’t knock Utah’s choice simply because it’s a charity. Specifically, 5 For The Fight is a charity that encourages people to donate just $5 to cancer research. 100% of the money donated goes straight to cancer research, and it doesn’t get better than that. I do think there was a missed opportunity to partner with a musical instrument company, maybe even one that specializes in jazz instruments, but this is still a home run. 10/10 Jazz, good for you guys. To learn more about 5 For The Fight or to donate, check out their website here.

Sacramento Kings (Jersey Sponsorship: Blue Diamond Almonds)

What is there really say about this one? It’s almonds. (Get it? Like “it’s nuts” but instead it’s almonds…oh you got it…sorry.) I get that basketball is a business and you have to consider multiple factors when making decisions like this, but seriously? Does Willie Cauley-Stein even like almonds? At best, Blue Diamond has a nice logo and it’s not distracting, at worst, just another thing for Kings fans to complain about. 2/10 for the Sacramento Almonds.

Orlando Magic (Jersey Sponsor: Disney)

Magic fans haven’t had a reason to be this excited since they drafted Dwight Howard in 2004, and then when they traded Dwight Howard in 2012. You can see the new jersey patch here, and boy it’s magical. Hopefully, the Magic and their new magical sponsors can make some magic happen this season and give Orlando sports fans something to cheer for. I love everything about this partnership, from the Mickey video to the hashtag to the similar color scheme. The lob from one face of a franchise to another was a nice touch as well, 10/10 Orlando.

Brooklyn Nets (Jersey Sponsor: Infor)

Okay, I’ll admit I had to do some research on what Infor even was when I heard about this one, and it’s not a great answer. Infor is a software company based out of New York City, and that’s about all they have in common with the Nets. On top of that, their logo sticks out like a sore thumb on the Nets boring black and white jerseys and generates the same excitement as the sub par Nets have the past few seasons. 3/10 for you Brooklyn.

Detroit Pistons (Jersey Sponsor: Flagstar Bank)

I like and dislike this one for a few reasons, but overall I’m okay with it. The red and white logo of Flagstar goes with the Pistons’ home jerseys, and Flagstar is actually based out of Michigan, which is pretty cool. On the other hand, it’s a bank, and banks aren’t all that exciting honestly. The Pistons take an L overall, however, due to the combination of this sponsorship and their new stadium sponsors. Detroit will leave the historic Palace at Auburn Hills, their home since 1988. Starting this season they will play their home games at Little Caesars Arena in the heart of Detroit. The Pistons are looking up, but their sponsorship game is struggling, 5/10.

Toronto Raptors (Jersey Sponsor: Sun Life)

Props to the Raptors for partnering with a Canadian-based financial services company. I’ve actually seen the Sun Life logo in both red and white, which is perfect for the Raptors color scheme. However, If you look closely, you’ll notice that the Sun Life logo looks like it was drawn by a 5-year-old. I appreciate the Canadian roots. I appreciate the matching colors, and I can’t knock the Raptors too much because their stadium partnership with Air Canada is genius. Perhaps they should have used the Canada-based airline as their jersey sponsors too though, 5/10.

Minnesota Timberwolves (Jersey Sponsor: Fitbit)

While no official pictures of Minnesota’s new jerseys with the Fitbit logo have been released, this is still a perfect match. The new-look T-Wolves have gone all in with Fitbit, naming them their “Official Wearable”, “Official Sleep Tracker” and official Jersey Patch Sponsor. Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson also said that the team sees the partnership as more than a small patch in the corner of their jerseys. Minnesota plans to use Fitbit’s technology throughout the organization, this includes logging the new concession offerings at the Target Center into the Fitbit food section to help fans make healthier choices at the games. While this may seem like a bit excessive, I love the “go big or go home” mantra that the Wolves have adopted. 9/10 only because we don’t know how the Fitbit logo will look on the T-Wolves new jerseys.

Denver Nuggets (Jersey Sponsor: Western Union)

The Nuggets have long held the title of best jerseys in the NBA, and rightfully so. I’m a little worried that the new Western Union patch will throw off the homey, Denver vibe that the blue and yellow Nuggets’ jerseys give off. Western Union is based out of Colorado, and their colors match pretty well with the Nuggets, but they don’t bring as much as excitement as a company like Disney or Fitbit. 6/10 as long as the patch is as subtle as it looks and doesn’t distract from the Nuggets brilliant jerseys.

Thoughts on the new jersey sponsorships? Leave a comment down below.

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