Rakuten, NBA Golden State Warriors Sign Advertising Patch Deal Worth $20M Annually
Japanese online retailer Rakuten signed the "largest of the NBA advertising patch deals this week," buying the space on the Golden State Warriors' jersey "for the next three years," 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 Cleveland 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 added that the team "felt it was important for the deal to be done with a worldwide brand." Rakuten, which made San Francisco 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 spending as of late." In July, its name "started appearing" on Barcelona's kit in a deal worth €220M ($263.2M) over four years. The Golden State sponsorship comes with "six other designations that last longer than three years." Rakuten will be the team's official e-commerce, video-on-demand and affiliate marketing partner. Rakuten's cashback website Ebates will become the team's official shopping rewards partner; its messaging service Viber will be the official instant messaging and calling app; and its bookstore Kobo will be the official e-reader partner (ESPN.com, 9/12). The deal also includes naming rights to the Warriors' 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 San Francisco. 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).