Golden State has agreed to a patch advertising deal with Japanese tech company Rakuten and will sport the company's logo on its jerseys for the next three seasons, ESPN reported Tuesday.
The Warriors aren't the first team to sign a deal with a company that doesn't match their colors - the Bucks will be sponsored by orange-and-black Harley Davidson, for example - but the red is slightly off-putting compared to the normal colors that Golden State uses.
Rakuten, which owns cash-back site Ebates, messaging app Viber and e-book brand Kobo, has ratcheted up its sponsorship spend of late.
In the first year the National Basketball Association will allow advertising on jerseys, the Warriors will wear Rakuten's red and black patch near the left shoulder. "Our partnership in Barcelona has helped us in Spain, and the Warriors will certainly be a pillar of getting us there in United States".
The Warriors partnering with Tokyo-based e-commerce company Rakuten is fitting as they gained worldwide attention for winning the National Basketball Association championship in two of the past three seasons and featuring superstars in Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, who has an interest in messaging apps.
Warriors sell jersey patch for $20M per year
Rakuten will be the team's official e-commerce, video-on-demand and affiliate marketing partner. "We felt in order to grow out global vision, we had to be aligned with a global brand". In July 2017, the company also became the Main Global Partner and Official Innovation and Entertainment Partner for iconic soccer club FC Barcelona.
"We love sports", Rakuten founder Hiroshi Mikitani told ESPN's Rovell.
The Warriors are the 14th National Basketball Association franchise to sign a uniform endorsement deal.
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.
Of course, there is more to the deal than simply adding a path on the uniforms.