The Golden State Warriors will get $20 million a year for a Rakuten ad on its jerseys


Source: Market Watch Personal Finance

For the first time ever, NBA jerseys will have an advertisement on them this season. And perhaps not surprisingly, the team making the most from this — based on the partnerships that have been announced so far — is last year’s champion, the Golden State Warriors.

The team will get $20 million a year to put a Rakuten ad on the upper left chest of the jerseys, according to ESPN.

Rakuten isn’t very well known in the U.S., but it is in Japan. An internet company based in Tokyo, Rakuten Ichiba is one of the largest e-commerce sites in the world. It also owns ebates and several other online entities.

“We want to be a household name like Google

GOOG, +0.32%

  and Facebook

FB, -0.32%

 ,” Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani told ESPN. Rakuten had $7 billion in revenue in 2016.

And teaming up with an international company was important to the Warriors.

“We felt in order to grow our global vision, we had to be aligned with a global brand,” the team’s chief marketing officer, Chip Bowers, told ESPN.

The biggest U.S. sports leagues — the NBA, MLB, NFL and NHL — haven’t done this before, though the soccer league MLS has ads on its jerseys.

Also see: The NBA is changing its D-League to the G-League (G is for Gatorade)

The NBA hired a sponsorship research group five years ago to look into selling jersey ads, according to Ad Age. Players won’t look like walking Nascar vehicles: there will be just one 2.5” x 2.5” ad on the left chest of every jersey.

Such ads are common on sports team jerseys outside the U.S., such as in the English Premier League.

After the Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who lost to the Warriors in the finals last year, will make the most from its jersey sponsorship. The team will reportedly get $7 million to $10 million a year for sporting a Goodyear ad

GT, +3.42%


As our exclusive Data & Analytics Partner, @generalelectric will be woven into the fabric of the Boston #Celtics

But not all teams have announced their jersey sponsorships yet, so it’s possible another team in a large market, such as the New York Knicks or Los Angeles Lakers, will make even more for the ad on their jerseys than the Warriors. The NBA season starts on Oct. 17.

Other jersey sponsors that have been announced so far are below. Most of the companies paying for the advertisements are based in the cities or states of the teams.

Philadelphia 76ers: Stubhub

Milwaukee Bucks: Harley-Davidson

HOG, -0.11%


Boston Celtics: General Electric

GE, +0.80%


Utah Jazz: Qualtrics

Sacramento Kings: Blue Diamond Almonds

Orlando Magic: Disney

DIS, +0.82%


Brooklyn Nets: Infor

Detroit Pistons: Flagstar Bank

FBC, +0.70%


Toronto Raptors: Sun Life

SLF, +0.08%


Minnesota Timberwolves: Fitbit

FIT, +0.00%


Denver Nuggets: Western Union

WU, +1.75%


Atlanta Hawks: Sharecare

Source: Market Watch Personal Finance