Food Delivery Partnerships Heat Up With NBA, DoorDash Deal

    • NBA launches partnership with DoorDash, includes WNBA and NBA 2K League.
    • Los Angeles Dodgers recently expanded its Postmates partnership to include home delivery.

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In an effort to further engage with fans and push its support of the Black community, the NBA has signed a multi-year deal with DoorDash. 

The partnership is the league’s first in the on-demand delivery category and it’s also DoorDash’s first deal with a league. DoorDash also becomes a partner with the WNBA and NBA 2K League — becoming the first presenting partner of the NBA 2K League playoffs and final. 

As the NBA playoffs start Monday, the two partners will kick off the “#PlayItForward Challenge” timed at encouraging fans to support Black-owned restaurants. 

“This new partnership is a timely first for us as DoorDash is uniquely positioned to amplify our efforts to engage with fans who are watching games from their homes while also stepping up to support the Black-owned businesses in their communities — a key priority and area of focus across our leagues,” Dan Rossomondo, NBA senior vice president and head of media and business development, said. 

DoorDash will donate $1 to the National Urban League for every order from a Black-owned restaurant through the end of August, while offering free delivery through the end of the year. NBA players are supporting the campaign on social media: Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander; Orlando Magic guard Aaron Gordon; New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday: Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum; Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell; Memphis Grizzlies guard Ja Morant; Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray and Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder. 

Programs looking to engage fans at home don’t stop within the NBA, or DoorDash. Postmates — which was acquired in a $2.65 billion all-stock deal by Uber in July — expanded its partnership with the Los Angeles Dodgers last month. The two food delivery platforms are using team partnerships in a battle for market share, as Uber Eats and Postmates hold a 37% U.S. market share in the industry, behind DoorDash’s 45%.

The Dodgers partnership with Postmates started last season as Postmates Live for in-seat delivery at Dodger Stadium. Postmates also has a partnership with the New York Yankees.

The partnership, along with Home Team Kitchen, allows fans to order Dodger Stadium fare like Dodger Dogs and micheladas for delivery at home. 

“Los Angeles sports fans will now have year-round access to their favorite stadium flavors, whether it’s for a gourmet game day, celebration or just to satisfy an everyday craving,” said Tucker Kain, president of Dodgers Business Enterprise.

As the NBA looks to provide fans with a guided option for at-home engagement, teams have looked for similar partnerships. The Orlando Magic continued its virtual happy hour series this month, partnering with Michelob Ultra and beverage-delivery company Drizly — offering $5 off — then held an Instagram Q&A with former Magic guard Jameer Nelson. Michelob Ultra was announced a league partner earlier this month.

“As we continue with the restart of Orlando Magic games, we’re excited to continue our efforts to engage fans through innovative digital platforms,” J.T. McWalters, Magic vice president of partnership activation and strategy, said. “With fans and consumers spending more time on their devices than ever, we’re driven to provide compelling content and are excited to work again with Anheuser-Busch to help provide a forum for fans to engage with Magic players and personalities through social media. Continuing to add Drizly to the activation allows fans to receive valuable offers to have product brought right to their homes.”