Houston Rockets net first jersey sponsor

NBA basketball franchise the Houston Rockets has unveiled mobile phone start-up ROKiT Phones as its first-ever jersey sponsor.

The multi-year deal will grant ROKiT brand exposure on the left shoulder area of the Rockets’ jerseys. ROKiT was launched in August as a subsidiary of ROK Brands.

ROKiT will also partner with the Rockets on a range of community outreach efforts throughout the season, with a focus on programs for military veterans such as Hoops for Troops. ROKiT will also look to integrate ROK Brands’ involvement with Vets to Vets.

The partnership also includes select ROK Drinks brands, with three lounges at the team’s Toyota Center arena to be rebranded as Bogart’s Lounge, ABK Beer Garden and Bandero Tequila Terrace.

The deal has been signed to coincide with the start of the 2018-19 NBA season, with the Rockets’ campaign beginning later today (Wednesday) against the New Orleans Pelicans.

“We were patient in deciding on our inaugural jersey partner and are thrilled to select ROKiT, a company which shares our commitment to excellence both on and off the court,” Rockets chief executive Tad Brown said. “We have high expectations heading into this season and look forward to introducing our fans to the quality products and high level of service that ROKiT offers.”

In other NBA jersey sponsorship news, the Chicago Bulls have also just signed their first jersey patch partnership with Zenni Optical.

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The partnership is understood to be a three-season deal, from 2019-20 to 2021-22, and builds on AXA’s existing Global Partner agreement with Liverpool.

The deal is the largest ever sponsorship investment in UK women’s sport and comes less than a year after the league went fully professional in September 2018.

Under the five-year global deal, Oppo will become the first Official Smartphone Partner of The Championships, Wimbledon, as the event is officially known.

US sportswear brand Nike is paying about $7.5m (€6.7m) per year to sponsor China’s League of Legends Pro League (LPL), according to industry sources.