Bulls hire Excel Sports Management to assist with jersey patch deal
Nineteen NBA teams hit the All-Star break with jersey patch deals completed in the first year of the uniform advertising rollout. Noticeably absent from the list are the big-market Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Clippers, but a deal could be in the offing sooner rather than later for the Bulls with the team hiring Excel Sports Management to sell the team’s jersey patch.
Excel is familiar with the patch sales process given that former NBA sponsorship executive Emilio Collins joined Excel as chief business officer last year after helping craft the league’s pilot jersey patch sales policy. Collins and Excel helped the Charlotte Hornets sell their patch to LendingTree in a three-year deal worth between $5 million and $7 million annually.
The Bulls confirmed they have retained Excel but declined to comment.
Just how much a company will pay to put the 2.5-inch patch on the front of the Bulls’ uniform is unknown. Other big-market teams like the Los Angeles Lakers have a patch deal with Wish that’s worth between $12 million and $14 million annually, while the Golden State Warriors’ recent jersey patch deal with Rakuten is valued at $20 million annually.
“It’s an insurance policy of sorts,” Collins said of the many teams using outside agencies to sell the patch. “When you sell your house, you’d rather do it yourself and not pay the broker, but you also want to get the maximum price. So you hire someone to broaden your reach.”
— Terry Lefton and John Lombardo