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Volume 23 No. 13
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Bucks expect big jump in next jersey patch deal

The team will use recent success and the stardom of Giannis Antetokounmpo to find a new partner to replace Harley Davidson.
Photo: getty images
The team will use recent success and the stardom of Giannis Antetokounmpo to find a new partner to replace Harley Davidson.
Photo: getty images
The team will use recent success and the stardom of Giannis Antetokounmpo to find a new partner to replace Harley Davidson.
Photo: getty images

The Milwaukee Bucks are hitting the jersey patch market with a new strategy that aims to cash in on the team’s higher profile since when it signed its original jersey patch deal in 2017 with Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson.

 

The Bucks are looking for a new deal that would replace the famed motorcycle company as their jersey patch partner by the start of next season when their current three-year agreement expires.

Most NBA teams are in the market for jersey patch renewals or new partnerships, as the league’s initial three-year test of the sponsorship program winds down. Team owners have since voted to extend the program indefinitely.

The Bucks won’t say how much their current deal with Harley-Davidson is worth, but estimates from most NBA jersey patch deals range from $2 million to $6 million annually.

The team expects a major increase in the value of its patch deal given the rise of reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo; the NBA’s new international team marketing rights program; and an NBA-leading record that has led to far greater exposure for the Bucks, including 34 national television appearances this season. The Bucks also moved into the highly touted Fiserv Forum before the 2018-19 season.

“We expect to get three to four times the deal we have with Harley,” said Matt Pazaras, senior vice president of business development and strategy for the Bucks. “We are having active conversations with brands.”

Pazaras and team President Peter Feigin talked with prospective jersey patch sponsors when the team played last month in Paris, and it’s possible that the new deal could be with an international company not based in Wisconsin.

The Bucks are not using an agency for their new patch deal.

The team is looking to leverage the stardom of Antetokounmpo to drive value and extend the team’s brand in a similar way the Portland Trail Blazers signed their jersey patch deal with BioFreeze at the same time the company also was signing All-Star Damian Lillard to an endorsement deal.

“The exciting thing is that we are not limited by geography,” Pazaras said. “The trajectory of our brand and our play on the court with a guy like Giannis makes our value stronger. Having the league’s MVP is a value proposition. We’d like a deal done as soon as possible, knowing it will start for next year, but we would love to have it done by the end of the season.”