CNBC’s Jabari Young reports Wednesday that the Nets, confident in their expected national exposure, are aggressively shopping their uniform patch “space.”
The Nets deal with INFOR, the computer software company, is expiring after three years at a reported $8 million a year. That deal was one of the first signed by an NBA team once the league permitted the promotion in 2017. Now, the Nets are hoping for a bigger payday.
CEO John Abbamondi told CNBC the club is “extremely bullish” and “optimistic” about its patch offerings. He said the Nets “expect to be competitive next year” and that could draw more national TV games.
“This is not only a unique marketing asset for a brand in terms of the scale and scope of the reach in terms of billions of impression not only across the U.S. but around the world,” Abbamondi said.
He labeled the patch “the closet brand alignment with our organization other than [arena] naming rights.”
Abbamondi knows, Young writes, that he’s got to get over some hurdles. While Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving will bring more fans, more attention to the Nets, the new CEO knows he’s starting from the bottom. The INFOR patch “ranks among the lowest in SBJ’s online recognition survey for top U.S. markets. The survey measured NBA fans’ awareness of team patches on a national and regional scale.”
Then, there’s the Nets low TV ratings and attendance. Although both are growing after the Nets dismal showing earlier in the decade, they remain a challenge.
Still, Abbamondi believes there’s “strong interest” in the team’s patch, he told Young, adding that the Nets are “confident” the ratings will be “up significantly next year.” Moreover, the league permits teams to partner with overseas companies and the Nets have one of three international owners. (The Liberty, Joe Tsai’s other New York team, has a deal with Alipay, the Chinese analog of PayPal and sister company of Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce giant Tsai co-founded.)
NBA teams can also now sell patches on their practice jerseys. The Cavaliers were the first team to sell a practice jersey patch last month to Goodyear, which is headquartered in nearby Akron.
Overall, Young notes, the league is optimistic that the NBA’s global reach will help teams up their price with an anticipated $150 million in revenue.