Toronto Raptors join NBA’s jersey sponsorship set

The Toronto Raptors have today (Thursday) become the ninth franchise in North American basketball league the NBA to agree a jersey sponsorship deal through an expanded agreement with existing partner Sun Life Assurance.

The new deal with the insurance company will commence with the 2017-18 season and continue through the NBA’s three-year trial of the jersey sponsorship programme. Canadian broadcaster TSN reported that the contract will be worth C$5m (€3.4m/$3.9m) per year to the Raptors.

The Sun Life patch will appear on the front left shoulder of Raptors game jerseys starting next season. The agreement will feature a prominent program in support of diabetes awareness and prevention.

“This is an exciting time in Raptors’ history and we’re thrilled to share it with Sun Life, an iconic Canadian brand who has been a trusted partner of ours over the past seven years,” David Hopkinson, chief commercial officer of Raptors owner Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, said. 

“This partnership, while breaking new sports marketing ground, puts an important issue affecting our community first and represents an initiative that we can all take great pride in.”

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 latest deal brings the total number of teams to have signed jersey sponsors for next season to nine, with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Orlando Magic, Brooklyn Nets, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings and Utah Jazz having also secured deals.