How the 76ers and StubHub Are Patching Things Up in the NBA

It was recently announced that the Philadelphia 76ers and StubHub have officially formed the first jersey patch partnership in NBA history. The 76ers will become the first team in major American sports to sell advertisement on a jersey. (Rovell, ESPN) What does this mean for the industry? Nobody knows for certain. As Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner stated, “We don’t know how exactly it’ll impact the larger marketplace and we don’t know how much money it’ll generate.” (Conway, Bleacher Report)

One thing that we do know is that prime-time ad real estate has now opened up in the NBA. It will be very interesting to see what major companies will shell out, vying for the extremely limited inventory as there are only 30 teams in the NBA. This inimitable association for a major company such as StubHub to align with the NBA could not come at a better time. Just a few months prior, the 76ers and StubHub had announced their collaboration on the launch of a new ticketing platform. According to NBA Media Ventures, this new platform would enable primary and secondary ticket inventory to be combined into one marketplace.  The platform has the capability to drive conversions with offerings through real-time market data that allows box offices to optimize pricing, while owning and controlling all buyer data. Other offerings include mobile optimizations that make ticket purchasing very user-friendly, as well as shopping cart capabilities that enable customers to buy tickets from various sellers in one transaction.  With the new ticketing platform, the 76ers will direct all buyers to its team-branded experience on StubHub.

Is it a coincidence that StubHub’s partnership with the 76ers comes at a time when the 76ers are walking away with the first overall draft pick for next season?  Perhaps it could be a mere coincidence, but most likely a marketing strategy incepted by a mad genius with two things in mind, brand recall and ticket sales, sales, sales! It will be interesting to see how sales revenues will pan out when the new ticketing platform and the jersey sponsorship will launch respectively in 2016-2017.

The 76ers and StubHub jersey sponsorship will be a trial run over three years. If things run smoothly, this may open up another ad revenue stream for NBA teams. Even more so, will this monumental moment for sports sponsorships take precedence in the future of all major American sports?  Will nothing be left unscathed by Mad Men?

Esther Park
Just Media, Inc.

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