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Volume 25 No. 196

Marketing and Sponsorship

The Suns have signed a jersey patch deal with PayPal, becoming the 25th NBA team to have such a deal. Terms of the pact were not disclosed, but the agreement makes PayPal the official payment partner of the Suns, the WNBA Phoenix Mercury and Real Club Deportivo Mallorca, which is also owned by Suns Owner Robert Sarver and plays in Spain’s La Liga Segunda División. The deal also makes PayPal a payment option at Talking Stick Resort Arena and at the Suns team store in the arena, with fans to access PayPal through the Suns team app. The Suns will also make PayPal Credit available for season-ticket purchases. PayPal will get in-arena and stadium signage and a presence on broadcast, digital and through other promotions. The Mercury will also have the PayPal logo on the front of their jerseys starting next season. The Mercury jerseys will be revealed in the spring. “The primary driver for us and for PayPal is the customer experience and creating an environment that is seamless and convenient as possible,” Suns President & CEO Jason Rowley said. “The other pieces that were critical were finding a partner with a global platform and also with a strong presence in the Arizona market.” The deal is PayPal’s first team sponsorship. “We are very brand conscious,” PayPal North America GM Robert Clarkson said. “Being a member of the Valley community, we see the investment the Suns have made in consumer experience. It was a natural fit for us.” No agencies were used in the deal.

NBA JERSEY PATCH DEALS
TEAM
SPONSOR
76ers
StubHub
Bucks
Harley-Davidson
Cavaliers
Goodyear
Celtics
GE
Clippers
Bumble
Grizzlies
FedEx
Hawks
Sharecare
Heat
Ultimate Software
Hornets
LendingTree
Jazz
Qualtrics
Kings
Blue Diamond
Knicks
Squarespace
Lakers
Wish
Magic
Walt Disney World
Mavericks
5miles
Nets
Infor
Nuggets
Western Union
Pelicans
Zatarain's
Pistons
Flagstar Bank
Raptors
Sun Life
Spurs
Frost Bank
Suns
PayPal
T'Wolves
Fitbit
Trail Blazers
Biofreeze
Warriors
Rakuten
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NBA Jerseys
A reflective "3M" heel panel could be distracting for both in-arena spectators and TV viewers
Photo: KANYE WEST

Kanye West has debuted his "first-ever Yeezy basketball sneaker" with Adidas, but the NBA league office would not approve the "current version of the sneaker on court because of its gleaming, reflective-material heel," according to sources cited by Nick DePaula of ESPN.com. While the "monochromatic sneakers won't violate the league's footwear color restrictions, the issue is the reflective '3M' heel panel," which the NBA may "find potentially distracting for both in-arena spectators and television viewers." The league office has "yet to receive and formally review the new Yeezy basketball shoe in person." However, a source said that the version West shared online would "not be permitted on court as is." Alternative versions of the shoe that "don't incorporate the reflective material would likely be approved." In an Instagram post, West explained that his shoe was "been in development for over three years and undergone nearly 300 sample updates." The new model is expected to "finally make its much-anticipated debut" this NBA season. Adidas non-signature athletes like Jazz G Donovan Mitchell, Lakers F Brandon Ingram, Warriors G Nick Young, Wizards G John Wall and F Kelly Oubre Jr. could be seen "potentially wearing the shoe" in early '19 (ESPN.com, 10/1).

Jacob’s Creek paid Tennis Australia around $3.5M a year in exchange for corner signage on main courts
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Australia-based winemaker Jacob’s Creek has "pulled out of its 13-year stint as one of the biggest sponsors" of tennis' Australian Open, as the brand's "existing contract expired" after this year's event, according to Nick Tabakoff of THE AUSTRALIAN. It is "believed Jacob’s Creek previously paid Tennis Australia" at least $3.5M (all figures U.S.) a year and "received coveted corner signage" on Rod Laver and Margaret Court arenas for all matches. The deal also included "status as the Open’s official wine." Jacob’s Creek had deals with Novak Djokovic and Andre Agassi to be "ambassadors for the winemaker in branded content segments during recent tennis telecasts." Jacob’s Creek has also "ended its existing deal with Djokovic as a brand ambassador," and it will "withdraw from TV sponsorship agreements with the tournament’s host broadcaster that saw it pay" between $1.1-1.4M a year for ads and segments. One "possible contributor to Jacob’s Creek’s withdrawal from the Australian Open was an August deal struck by the tournament with top French brand Piper-Heidsieck to be its champagne partner" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 10/2). Read more in SBD Global

Uniqlo sees Federer as a brand off the court as much as on it, and is incorporating him into lifestyle products
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Roger Federer said that the decision to end his 20-year association with Nike and embark on a new chapter with Uniqlo was "influenced by the Japanese clothing company’s commitment to stay with him long after his playing days are over," according to Jack Tarrant of REUTERS. Federer said that the "belief shown in him" by Uniqlo CEO Tadashi Yanai and Exec Creative Dir John Jay "had been key." Federer: "John Jay in New York, where I had an event there, said it very nicely: ‘One day I will retire from tennis but I will not retire from life.'" Tarrant noted by incorporating Federer in its LifeWear range, Uniqlo appears to see him as a "brand off court as much as on it." One of Federer’s goals after he retires is to "develop the charity work started through his foundation, which aims to empower children in poverty through education, and he said Uniqlo shared that vision" (REUTERS, 10/2). WOMEN'S WEAR DAILY's Kelly Wetherille notes Federer "worked closely with Uniqlo’s design team to create the game wear he debuted at Wimbledon" this summer. Federer said that he is "looking forward to becoming even more involved in future collections." He added, "I love working on details, and also trying out new things, so that’s what we’re going to go back to the drawing board for next year." Meanwhile, Uniqlo said that it was "organizing an exhibition match that Federer will play sometime next year in Japan" (WWD.com, 10/2).