The NBA is one of the few sports leagues in the world with a truly global appeal. Millions of fans in the US and beyond tune in to watch their favorite teams and superstars. Arguably, the most popular team on the world stage is the Los Angeles Lakers. With such popularity comes an abundance of sponsorship opportunities, both for the franchise and its players.
Wish – a mobile shopping app based in San Francisco – scored a buzzer-beater three-pointer by becoming the first-ever company to advertise on the Lakers’ jerseys during the 2016/17 season. Prior to this deal, the NBA didn’t allow franchisees to strike such deals independently. However, after a change in the NBA’s sponsorship agreements, Wish jumped in with a $13 million-a-year offer (for 3 years) to secure its logo on the famous yellow shirt.
MGM Resorts International struck a deal with the NBA in 2019 to become one of the organization’s official betting partners, and this gambling and entertainment giant is also listed as one of the Laker’s corporate partners. Maybe Los Angeles will follow in the footsteps of the Philadelphia 76ers, who recently announced BetMGM as its official sports betting partner. It’s a popular trend with sportsbooks and casinos in mobile apps joining forces with the National Basketball Association as the United States begins to embrace online gambling in more states.
The sportswear titan is another top corporate sponsor of the Lakers, and of course, it had a long association with Lakers’ legend Kobe Bryant. From 2003, the Bryant-Nike partnership made millions for both the player and company. It’s estimated that Kobe raked in $8 million a year from Nike alone. While that’s impressive, it’s pocket change compared to the $60 million that Michael Jordan earns.
Another Laker – LeBron James – is also a Nike man. He first signed with them at the age of 18, in a deal worth $90 million. Since then, James has gone on to be one of the NBA’s all-time greats, and in 2016, he agreed to a lifetime contract with Nike that’s worth more than $30 million a year. Speaking of LeBron, he also owns a 2% stake in the Premier League side Liverpool Football Club.
This popular charge card and credit card company has been a part of the NBA for many years. It has several sponsorships with various franchises, however, its deal with the Lakers is among the most high profile. American Express, which is the official card of the Los Angeles Lakers, struck the multi-million dollar agreement in 2019.
The deal includes an exclusive members-only entrance for American Express cardholders to Lakers games and other major sporting and entertainment events amongst other benefits.
As a Fortune 500 company, Prudential needs little introduction. This insurance company has been tied to the LA Lakers for more than 25 years, and in 2019, it renewed its partnership once more in a deal worth $30 million.
Sponsorship deals are such a money-spinner these days, there appear to be “official’ partners for everything. Beats by Dre is the official audio partner, Cincoro Tequila, Delta Airlines, Canon, and many others also have the official Lakers’ label. Knowing all this, it’s easy to see how the franchise is valued at more than $4.5 billion.