Golden State Warriors sign lucrative jersey sponsorship deal

Warriors land richest NBA jersey sponsorship with three-year $60M deal with Rakuten

The Golden State Warriors' partnership with Rakuten for a jersey patch sponsorship isn't only the most lucrative among the 14 teams that have decided to choose a brand to don during this National Basketball Association season, but also the first to tap into the worldwide market to bridge the gap and branch out. "This was not the biggest deal that we were offered".

This morning it was announced that the Warriors will sign a three-year deal with Japanese electronic and internet company Rakuten which will cost $20 million per year.

Rakuten, which owns cash-back site Ebates, messaging app Viber and e-book brand Kobo, has ratcheted up its sponsorship spend of late.

As the three-time defending Western Conference champions and National Basketball Association champions in two of the past three years, the Warriors were undoubtedly among the most highly sought after partners for companies looking to take advantage of the NBA's new stance on jersey advertising.

"We love sports", Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani told ESPN. In July, its name started appearing on FC Barcelona's kit in a deal worth $235 million over four years. "We felt in order to grow out global vision, we had to be aligned with a global brand".

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The Rakuten partnership also includes entitlement to the Warriors Practice Facility, now named the Rakuten Performance Center, along with a significant representation with the Warriors traveling party and additional sales and marketing elements including in-arena signage, digital, social and radio.

The Warriors won the 2017 NBA Championship, the fifth title in franchise history and second in the last three years.

"I'm thrilled that our deal did exactly what deals like this were meant to do when the league announced the program", Warriors president Rick Welts said.

As part of the agreement, Rakuten also becomes the Official E-Commerce Partner, Official Video-On-Demand Partner and Official Affiliate Marketing Partner of the Warriors. "We signed a big deal with an global player and, in turn, we've boosted the value of the National Basketball Association and the Warriors outside of North America".

Of course, there is more to the deal than simply adding a path on the uniforms.

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