Clippers to promote gender equality with new jersey sponsor

NBA basketball team the Los Angeles Clippers has today (Tuesday) signed an innovative jersey sponsorship deal with social networking app Bumble.

The Clippers’ agreement with Bumble begins with the team’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans later today. The Bloomberg news agency said the contract is worth around $20m (€16.1m) over a three-year term.

The Bumble app has over 26 million users and connects people across dating, friendship and professional networking. Bumble is a proponent of gender equality, with women always making the first move on its app.

Bumble’s ‘Empowerment Badge’ will feature on the Clippers’ jerseys in a move designed to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women. The partnership extends to the youth market, with community initiatives to be launched that will seek to strengthen skills, confidence and knowledge among young women.

The Clippers said the partnership has been inspired by the NBA’s global footprint and the recognition that it is one of the most progressive teams in professional sport.

Clippers president Gillian Zucker is the only female to hold such a role in the NBA. The team also has the largest female leadership team, with Chris Leotis, Danita Johnson, Erin Prober, Denise Booth and Nicole Duckett all holding senior positions within the Clippers organisation.

Bumble founder and chief executive Whitney Wolfe Herd said: “Never before has a major professional sports team partnered in this way with a female-driven brand like Bumble. It’s an honour to partner with an organisation as progressive and compassionate as the Clippers. Like us, they know generating awareness for diversity and gender equality is critical to business success.”

Zucker added: “Through (team owner) Steve Ballmer’s leadership, the Clippers have a clear commitment to diversity and equal opportunity. From our players on the court to our leadership team, we are proud to stand with Bumble and do our part to emphasise that diversity and gender equality in the workplace is essential to organisational excellence. Bumble’s message and technology provide a platform for women in new and non-traditional spaces and it’s important to the Clippers that we innovate and reach our fans wherever our fans are.”

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 Clippers become the 20th team to agree such a deal.