Warriors, Tech Company Rakuten Sign Jersey Sponsorship, Reportedly Worth $20M Annually
The Warriors have signed the "largest of the NBA ad patch deals," selling the space on their jersey for the "next three years to Japanese tech holding company Rakuten," according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Sources said that the deal is worth $20M a year, "nearly doubling the second-highest deal" signed by the Cavaliers with Goodyear. The Warriors will "sport Rakuten's genuine logo with red and black on their white jerseys and a white version of the logo on the blue-and-slate jerseys." Warriors CMO Chip Bowers said, "We actually had multiple finalists. This was not the biggest deal that we were offered." Bowers said that the team "felt it was important for the deal to be done with a worldwide brand." Rakuten, which made S.F. its North American HQ in '15, was "aggressive in its bid to land the deal." Rakuten Founder & CEO Hiroshi Mikitani "reached out to the team and showed up in person at the first meeting." Rakuten has "ratcheted up its sponsorship spend of late." In July, its name "started appearing" on La Liga club FC Barcelona's kit in a deal worth $235M over four years. Rovell reports the jersey sponsorship comes with "six other designations, which last longer than three years in length." Rakuten will be the team's "official ecommerce, video on demand and affiliate marketing partner." Its cash-back site ebates will become the team's "official shopping rewards partner, its messaging service Rakuten Viber will be official instant messaging and calling app, while its Rakuten Kobo will be the official e-reader partner" (ESPN.com, 9/12). The deal also includes naming rights to the team’s practice facility, which will be called the Rakuten Performance Center. The practice rights component of the deal runs for two years until the team opens the new $1B Chase Center in S.F. The practice facility will be on the grounds of the new venue. This marks the first time the Warriors have had a practice center sponsor. The Warriors said that CAA Sports worked with the team on the deal (John Lombardo, Staff Writer).