The Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat have become the latest NBA basketball franchises to secure jersey sponsors, sealing deals with e-commerce platform Wish and cloud-based technology firm Ultimate Software, respectively.
Ultimate Software, based in Southern Florida, will also become the Heat’s partner for its 30th anniversary campaign during the 2017-18 season as part of the three-year deal. The company will benefit from its branding featuring on all of the team’s jerseys, including the Association, Icon, Statement, Classic and City uniforms, which premiere during the 2017-18 season.
Ultimate Software will support the Heat’s Charitable Fund initiatives including Home Strong, Random Acts of Heat, and Loud and Proud, an annual event to celebrate the LGBTQ community. In addition, both organisations donated a combined $1m (€835,736) for Hurricane Irma relief and recovery.
“For us, this was more than just putting a company’s logo on our jerseys,” Eric Woolworth, president of the Heat Group’s business operations, said. “Throughout this process, it was important for us to align ourselves with an organisation that shares our belief of fostering a family work atmosphere while providing world-class customer service and serving as good stewards of the South Florida community.”
California-based Wish and the Lakers will also launch their multi-year partnership in the 2017-18 season, during which the firm will see its badge on the team’s kit. In addition, the pair will launch an integrated marketing programme, which involves in-arena fan engagement and social and digital activation.
Wish and the Lakers will work together on various community initiatives within LA and the surrounding counties. The Wish patch will also be featured on the South Bay Lakers jersey, the Lakers’ G League minor league team, as well as on select jerseys for the Junior Lakers.
The agreement was brokered by WME|IMG’s Global Partnerships group.
“When it came to the jersey patch, knowing its prominent placement, our goal was to partner with an innovative and ambitious global company. Wish more than checks that box,” said Tim Harris, president of business operations and chief operating officer for the Lakers. “They are a leader in e-commerce and are constantly striving to grow and improve their brand and how they connect with their consumers.”
The Lakers and the Heat become the 15th and 16th NBA franchises to sign up a jersey sponsor for the 2017-18 season. 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.