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Charlotte Hornets sign jersey sponsor

Online loan marketplace LendingTree has agreed a deal to become the jersey sponsor of NBA basketball team the Charlotte Hornets.
Financial terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed, but the Charlotte Observer newspaper, citing industry experts, said the agreement would likely be worth between $5m (€4.3m) and $7m per year.
LendingTree’s logo will feature on the front of the Hornets’ jerseys as part of the agreement. The company will also serve as a founding level partner of the Hornets, as well as the official loan shopping partner of the team.
LendingTree will receive signage at the Hornets’ Spectrum Center home arena and on the venue’s mobile entry scanners, while its branding will feature on the scorer’s table, basket stanchion, centre-hung scoreboard and 360 LED boards.
In addition, the company will title sponsor the Hornets mobile app, the team roster page on hornets.com and score updates across the team’s social media channels. Further promotion will be granted through banner adverts and pre-roll video adverts on hornets.com and during television broadcasts of Hornets games.
LendingTree also becomes the title partner of the Hornets Hoops youth basketball program, and the company will launch the LendingTree Scholarship Program, which will provide young people with the chance to attend camps, and the Lend-Some-Kicks Program, which donates shoes to youths. Hospitality opportunities and player appearances will also be afforded.
Fred Whitfield, Hornets Sports & Entertainment president and chief operating officer, said: “LendingTree is a company that shares our hometown and many of our values.  We both aim to provide the best possible product for our consumers and constantly seek opportunities for advancement as we strive to be among the elite in our respective industries. 
“In addition, we both understand and accept the importance of giving back to our community in Charlotte and across the Carolinas. We look forward to beginning our relationship with LendingTree and proudly displaying its logo alongside those of the Hornets and our owner’s Jordan Brand.”
The Hornets will wear the new LendingTree-branded jerseys for the first time tomorrow (Wednesday) when they face the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The NBA announced in April 2016 that teams would be permitted to agree jersey sponsorship deals as part of a three-year pilot programme spanning the 2017-18 to 2019-20 seasons. The Hornets become the 19th team to have agreed such a deal.