SBD/September 19, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Silver Hints NBA Setting Up Shop On Amazon; Would Deal Make Sense For Fanatics?

A search for NBA jerseys on Amazon brings a "mishmash of results," but NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently indicated that "may change in the future," according to Jason Del Rey of RECODE. Silver: "From an NBA standpoint, we’re very much in business with Amazon." Silver said Fanatics Founder & Chair Michael Rubin is "entering into a relationship" with Amazon, and "if you’re thinking of Amazon as a place to go to get that [Kristaps] Porzingis jersey, you’re going to be led to Fanatics." Silver: "So in essence, we exist as part of that larger ecosystem." However, a Fanatics spokesperson said that the company "hasn’t held any talks with Amazon about such a deal." A source close to Silver said that the commissioner was "simply speculating about the way things seem to be headed." The "best guess" is that the NBA and Fanatics have "probably talked to each other about the right way to engage with Amazon." Maybe "they’ve agreed on a partnership that makes sense," but those talks "haven’t involved Amazon." It is "hard to ignore the revenue potential of Amazon as the biggest online shopping destination in the U.S." Yet there are still "many more questions about why an Amazon partnership would make sense -- especially since part of Fanatics’ pitch to sports leagues is that everything on its sites is licensed and approved apparel" (, 9/18).
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