Oct 22, 2019 at 12:00 AM
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NBA Tip-Off 2019: Five Sponsorship Stories to Watch this NBA Season

From all the off-season player moves to China, it's been one eventful off-season for the NBA. While parity (i.e. the Warriors aren't a lock) may leave us having no idea who will take the title this year, we can make a few sponsorship predictions when it comes to the 2019-20 season. Here's a few stories to watch... 

  • More International Sponsors - Under new NBA rules, each team can now partner with two sponsors outside the U.S. and Canada. We've already seen teams take advantage of this rule change.Teams previously couldn’t participate in marketing campaigns or events outside the markets where they play home games. 

  • Fallout from China - The controversy surrounding Rockets GM Daryl Morey's tweet heard round the world may throw a wrench or at least a major setback to that plan for pursuing more international partnerships. Both the Rockets, and league, reportedly have had sponsorship talks stall in the story's wake. With lucrative overseas sponsorships and the NBA's decades long China investment in the balance, this will definitely be a story to keep an eye on. 

  • Jersey Patches Turn 3 - The jersey sponsorship experiment has by most accounts been a huge success - generating more than $150M in new revenue and bringing new sponsors into the league. With other leagues looking to copy the NBA's winning formula, look for the program to continue beyond its 3-year pilot. The question now is, will those initial jersey sponsors see the value in renewing and at what rate? 

  • Sportsbooks in NBA Arenas - The NBA was the progressive league in terms of lobbying for sports betting. With that now achieved in a growing number of states, will we soon see in-arena sportsbook like in Europe? Currently, only Illinois and DC allow for in-arena sports betting and the Wizards look ready to make it a reality. Will other states/teams follow? 

  • Off-season Moves Fuel Ad Appetite - From Brooklyn to LA, look for all of the major off-season moves to fuel ratings and advertising appetite in the coming season. According to Turner, movie studios, autos, food and beverages, quick-service restaurants and beer are all big spending categories ahead of the opener. 

    Now that you're ready for the NBA season, check out some sponsor categories to keep an eye on this Fall!