The Boston Celtics confirmed Wednesday an agreement with General Electric that includes putting the GE logo on their jerseys next season, incorporating the company's technology into their new practice facility and teaming up to work on community service initiatives.
Darren Rovell of ESPN.com shared what the jerseys are expected to look like:
Darren Rovell @darrenrovell
FIRST LOOK: GE logo on Celtics uniform, which will begin for all games next season. https://t.co/N3RV53ceU02017-1-25 15:35:20
Adam Vaccaro of the Boston Globe provided the details of the partnership, which comes after GE moved its headquarters to Boston last year. Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck spoke to Vaccaro about the new deal.
"We've got [Red] Auerbach, we've got [Bill] Russell, we've got [Larry] Bird, and now we've got Thomas Edison," he said.
The Boston Globe relayed some additional views of how the jerseys will look:
The Boston Globe @BostonGlobe
Here's what the new GE logo on the #Celtics jerseys will look like https://t.co/OpOeVNxkFv https://t.co/FQ1jocpuWX2017-1-25 15:29:17
Last April, the NBA announced its board of governors approved a plan allowing for sponsorships on uniforms starting in the 2017-18 season. The company patches will all be in the same place on the jersey and measure about 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches, depending on each logo's dimensions.
The Celtics are the third team to come to terms with a jersey sponsor. Financial details of the agreement weren't immediately released.
The Philadelphia 76ers were the first organization in the four major American sports leagues to agree to a jersey sponsor last May when they teamed with StubHub. Rovell reported it was a three-year deal worth $5 million per season.
The Sacramento Kings joined them in October, as they signed a deal with Blue Diamond Growers for a patch featuring Blue Diamond Almonds. John Lombardo of the Sacramento Business Journal noted that contract was also worth "around $5 million per year."
More successful franchises like the Celtics, who own an NBA-record 17 championships, were likely to command bigger paydays, however. Rovell pointed out the Golden State Warriors, one of the league's current gold standards, were seeking between $15 million and $20 million per season as of last July.
The addition of corporate logos to uniforms met considerable resistance in the United States for a while, even though they've been a staple of overseas sports jerseys for years. They are featured far more prominently on the kits of European soccer teams than the small patches the NBA will use.
Expect the other major American sports leagues to follow suit in the years ahead as the revenue stream from the sponsorships becomes more pronounced.