The new multi-year partnership Boston Celtics and General Electric means that GE will become the team’s exclusive data and analytics partner.
GE, which moved its global headquarters to Boston in 2016, will receive a number of marketing assets, including the first jersey patch partnership in the team’s history, beginning in the 2017-18 season.
A key component of the relationship centers around GE’s ability to provide the 17-time NBA champions with its expertise, products and insights across data science, medical equipment, and lighting solutions. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
The Celtics will leverage GE’s expertise in a variety of areas, including player performance, injury prevention, and business optimization. The two businesses will work closely to integrate GE’s technology into the team’s basketball facilities, particularly as it relates to the Celtics’ state-of-the-art Auerbach Center at New Balance Headquarters, scheduled to open in 2018.
The NBA approved a three-year pilot program to allow jersey sponsorships – much like the Premier League and other professional soccer leagues – in April 2016. The program will start in the 2017-2018 season, though the sponsorships will be relegated to a small patch on the left shoulder of the players’ jerseys. The Philadelphia 76ers were the first to sign a sponsor, ticketing company StubHub. The GE patch will feature the company’s iconic logo in team colors, and appear on the front left shoulder of game jerseys beginning in the 2017-18 season.
“GE will be woven into the fabric of the Boston Celtics both literally and figuratively. Their leadership in innovation, analytics, and technology will help us to be as competitive as we can be in everything from optimizing our facilities and equipment to player performance. Simply put, GE will make us a better and smarter basketball team and organization,” said Celtics president Rich Gotham of the partnership.
“GE and the Boston Celtics both have rich histories of tradition and innovation and we’re thrilled to bring these two iconic brands together in a way that will drive further success for the team and pride in the City of Boston,” said GE chief marketing officer Linda Boff. “The Celtics will become another key ally in GE’s mission to help make Boston an epicenter of tech innovation.”
The two organizations will collaborate on a series of community initiatives as part of their partnership. GE has already committed $50 million to the city and surrounding areas to improve STEM education in Boston Public Schools, improve community health care, and drive future skills development in diverse populations. The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation extends the reach of the Celtics championship legacy into the community through programs that directly benefit children in need.
GE will also be integrated into highly visible team platforms, including:
- Digital and Social Media Content
- Fan Engagement and Enhancement
- TV Visible Signage
- Scoreboard Integration and Promotions
GE’s partnership with the Celtics adds to the company’s sports marketing portfolio, which includes partnerships with the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee. In addition, GE Healthcare has an ongoing collaboration with the NBA to promote orthopedic and sports medicine research for the benefit of NBA players and the general public.