The NBA and its board of directors recently approved the sale of small patches on game jerseys for the 2017-2018 season. The first to take advantage of the three-year pilot program are the Philadelphia 76ers, who are partnering with StubHub. According to Darren Rovell of ESPN, the logo patch netted the team $5m a year, with an option to continue should the league forge ahead after the initial trial period.
76ers CEO Scott O’Neil told ESPN, “We are about being first, being different, being innovative and getting to market at quickly as we can.”
The first look at the new program took place during the NBA All-Star Game in Toronto with Kia gracing the players’ uniforms. When the program starts, the patches in a 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 area, will be on the left side of the jersey and the iconic swoosh of Nike, the NBA outfitter starting in 2017, will be on the right.
The new arrangement allows for teams to strike deals that in no way interfere with the league's national media, apparel or on-court partners. eBay-owned StubHub is the official ticketing partner for the team, with access to both primary and secondary (resale) ticket inventory, and does not breach this rule.
“Since day one, StubHub has been a pioneer and innovator within the live entertainment ecosystem and we could not be more excited to join the Philadelphia 76ers in making history with this ground-breaking partnership,” said StubHub President Scott Cutler.
Though the team has struggled on the court of late, they have embarked on a number of ambitious projects including the recently-launched Sixers Innovation Lab. Additionally, according to O’Neil, the 76ers are ranked third in new ticket sales and have a good shot at landing the coveted first pick in the NBA draft.