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Volume 26 No. 176
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NBA Opens Int'l Sponsorship Category For Teams Next Season

Teams will now be able to sell global marketing rights to two current or new sponsors beginning next season
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Teams will now be able to sell global marketing rights to two current or new sponsors beginning next season
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Teams will now be able to sell global marketing rights to two current or new sponsors beginning next season
Photo: NBAE/GETTY IMAGES

The NBA is now "allowing clubs to sell international sponsorship rights" after team owners "approved a three-year test of the International Team Marketing Program" at their board of governors meeting earlier this month, according to John Lombardo of SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL. The program will allow each team to "sell global marketing rights to two current or new sponsors beginning next season." Previously, the league "controlled all international sponsorship inventory." Domestically, teams are "limited to a 75-mile marketing territory, a policy that remains in place." The international program "allows teams to include global advertising and marketing rights outside the U.S. and Canada; activation at retail locations globally outside the U.S. and Canada; and rights to post non-game team content on the sponsors’ own digital and social media sites such as their company Facebook or Twitter pages." While teams can "sell the new global rights to any two sponsors, many team naming-rights and jersey patch sponsors are global brands and would be likely targets in the new program." NBA President of Team Marketing & Business Operations and Chief Innovation Officer Amy Brooks said that while the new plan "offers teams more revenue, that’s not the primary goal." Instead, she said that it is to "take advantage of the global reach of team partners and to create more targeted non-game content." Under the new plans, sponsors "can use non-game content such as behind-the-scenes features but game highlights are prohibited" (SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/22 issue).