Toronto Raptors, Sun Life Agree on Jersey Sponsorship for 2017-18 Season

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2017

Toronto Raptors' Kyle Lowry (7) drives past Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving (2) during the first half in Game 2 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series, Wednesday, May 3, 2017, in Cleveland. The Cavaliers won 125-103. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Toronto Raptors and Sun Life Financial reached an agreement for jersey sponsorship starting with the 2017-18 NBA season, when the league will introduce patches on the front of uniforms.

On Thursday, the Raptors announced they will debut the new-look jersey with the Sun Life logo in the fall. The partnership will include increased "support of diabetes awareness and prevention."

"This is an exciting time in Raptors history, and we're thrilled to share it with Sun Life, an iconic Canadian brand who has been a trusted partner of ours over the past seven years," Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment CCO David Hopkinson said.

"This partnership, while breaking new sports marketing ground, puts an important issue affecting our community first and represents an initiative that we can all take great pride in."

Sun Life Canada provided a preview on social media:

Sun Life Canada @SunLifeCA

We're thrilled to announce our expanded partnership w/ @Raptors. Learn more: https://t.co/hGsaWJgi4C #SunLifeAgainstDiabetes https://t.co/QKcwhxapoe

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Last April, the NBA Board of Governors approved a plan to feature one small advertisement—2.5 inches by 2.5 inches—on the front of every uniform opposite the Nike logo for three years. Each franchise is responsible for selling the space itself.

"Jersey sponsorships provide deeper engagement with partners looking to build a unique association with our teams, and the additional investment will help grow the game in exciting new ways," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. "We're always thinking about innovative ways the NBA can remain competitive in a global marketplace, and we are excited to see the results of this three-year trial."

Some of the previously announced prominent partnerships include the Philadelphia 76ers and StubHub, the Boston Celtics and General Electric, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Goodyear, and the Orlando Magic and Disney.

The early deals have showcased the earning potential from jersey sponsorships.

Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reported the Sixers, who became the first NBA team to reach an agreement last May, will get $5 million per season from StubHub. Companies involving gambling, alcohol or politics are not allowed.

Financial details of the contract between the Raptors and Sun Life were not officially released. Rick Westhead of the Sports Network said the deal is worth "more than $5 million per year."

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