NBA Sponsorship Deals Hit $1.46B, Nears NFL Mark

    • The NFL brought in $1.62 billion in sponsorship revenue during its pandemic season.
    • The NBA picked up 13 new sponsors despite its shortened season.

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The NBA is giving the NFL a run for its advertising money. 

IEG estimates that the NBA made a record $1.46 billion in sponsorship revenue this season, up 6% year-over-year. That’s just under the $1.62 billion the NFL made during its pandemic season.

Despite a shortened 72-game season, the NBA picked up 13 new sponsors, including Microsoft, which brought in roughly $115 million in new spending, according to IEG.

Retail, alcohol, and insurance deals took the spotlight, with around 70 in each category.

  • In 2018, ESP Properties found that insurance companies are five times more likely to sponsor the NBA.
  • IEG predicts that jersey patch deals have increased sponsorship by 70% since the 2016-17 season — the last season prior to their introduction.

“Some teams are getting more than $15 million per year for jersey patches, and that is close to the $30 million a naming rights sponsorship can bring in annually,” said IEG Global Managing Director Peter Laatz.

Only three of the 30 NBA teams don’t have patch deals.

The league makes big money from media rights, too. Tencent has a five-year, $1.5 billion deal to air games in China, while Disney and WarnerMedia have a $24 billion deal for broadcasting rights.

The NBA is looking for a nine-year, $75 billion deal after current rights expire in 2025.