NBA Jersey Sponsors That Actually Make Sense
This year, the NBA is allowing companies to advertise on teams' uniforms. There's one problem, though: Most of these partnerships don't make any damned sense.
For example, the Warriors are working with Rakuten. Who outside of Japan has ever heard of Rakuten? The answer is "nobody."
Which brings us to today.
Bleacher Report has compiled a list that should put your mind at ease. Instead of focusing on maximizing ad dollars, we've placed an emphasis on bringing together companies and teams that share similar values.
Scroll below to find out which company should've struck a deal with your favorite squad.
The Chicago Bulls and Vine are alike in many ways, but here is the main reason Vine would be perfect for the Bulls: They're both tolerable for roughly six seconds.
When Vine was still around, it was fun to watch videos once and then scroll down your feed and go about your day. Sometimes the Vine would be exceptional and you would have to watch it twice to make sure you received the full effect. But there's always that one person who enjoys watching the same Vine on repeat until it becomes annoying. That person in our metaphor is a mixture of Gar Forman and John Paxson, aka "Gar-Pax."
Gar-Pax enjoys watching the same trainwreck over and over again. In the 2016 offseason, they signed two aging players, Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade, and advertised the move as part of building a championship team. In reality, this Bulls team should not have touched the playoffs.
Then, they made another grave mistake. Instead of building around their star player, Jimmy Butler, they decided to trade him to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The trade itself was not a bad move; it was the return they received. They acquired Lauri Markkanen, Kris Dunn and an injured Zach LaVine. That's about it.
This season, the Bulls will probably be fun to watch for roughly six seconds; maybe a few more if you’re feeling masochistic.
Whataburger is one of the most magical words in the English language, if you're from Texas. The salty taste of fries mixed with the signature Whataburger patty and the crisp crunch of the lettuce will make any Texan giddy. Imagine Shake Shack and In-N-Out hooked up and had a Texas restaurant.
It's hard to imagine any Texan saying no to Whataburger, so why not stake your claim and secure a marketing deal with the Dallas Mavericks? Sure, blue and orange don't necessarily blend too well together, but if the Denver Broncos can do it, Mark Cuban can find a way to make it work.
Golden State Warriors
The Golden State Warriors have reinvented the way we talk, write and read about basketball. Their innovative efficiency and strategic defense have made us all gawk. Just like Google.
Google is making self-driving cars, maintaining the world's most popular mobile phone operating system and creating a whole slew of other items that we probably don't know about. Its ability to create and perform at a high level makes some competing companies seem light years behind.
Google and the Warriors are just a step ahead. The Warriors will continue to roll over the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, and Google will continue to crush in phone sales worldwide. It's unfair, but it's amazing to watch them work.
While Golden State is comparable to Google, the Houston Rockets are on par with Apple.
Present-day Apple is often one step behind Google. The Rockets are the same way. They’re a fun and beloved luxury brand—but they’re no longer seen as innovators. Houston tried to emulate Golden State's philosophy yet forgot to add in the defensive programming.
But give general manager Daryl Morey and head coach Mike D'Antoni credit, because the budget-cut Warriors will finish top three in the West. And they'll look good while doing it.
Los Angeles Lakers
Everyone knows about the in-town rivalry between the Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers. Well, it's more of a competition for attention than a basketball rivalry.
See, the Lakers will always draw more eyes than the Clippers. Kobe Bryant. Magic Johnson. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Lonzo Ball. All Lakers. All household names.
That's why the Clippers should be represented by Lyft, and the Lakers by Uber.
Los Angeles Clippers
The competition between the two main ridesharing services, Lyft and Uber, is "fierce." But not really. Lyft is ahead of Uber in several metrics and scores better in many ratings. But Uber gets all the headlines—good or bad.
And so it is for the Clippers: Even if they are better than the Lakers on the court, it doesn't mean they'll receive the attention they deserve. The in-town rival is always there to steal the small glory the small guy receives.
Beaches, beautiful people and lots of sunlight: If you need to find a party in Miami, it's not hard. Miami was unsurprisingly rated one of the best party cities in the world. In the Heat's case, they're celebrating because they had a great offseason (in their mind).
Over the summer, the Heat re-signed Dion Waiters and James Johnson and signed Kelly Olynyk to the squad. Team president Pat Riley made an effort to retain the same group as last year, and he was successful in his endeavor. For that, the Heat front office was two-stepping along with the players.
The perfect sponsor for the Heat is Party City. You can go there to find all your party essentials. Nothing super interesting there—except for those shiny bundles of helium-filled balloons everyone loves (hi, Dion)—but it'll get the job done. Nobody is particularly excited about the Heat roster (especially not Joel Embiid), but for this season it'll get the job done.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is the heart and soul of the Bucks. He is the OG Croc of Milwaukee. Like the Bucks, Crocs Inc. built its rubber shoe empire around the OG Croc. You know, the one you see on the feet of five-year-olds who haven't mastered the intricacies of shoelaces and high schoolers trying to make a fashion statement. Because of the success of the original Croc, the brand has branched out and now makes loafers, slippers and all other types of footwear. But never forget that it all started with the original Croc.
Giannis is the future of the Bucks franchise, and he will be its saving grace. Milwaukee hasn't had a player like Antetokounmpo since Kareem and Oscar Robertson. But that was over 40 years ago. Giannis gives Wisconsin fans the star power and dependable comfort they've waiting for.
New York Knicks
The New York Knicks. Where does one even begin?
It's hard to think of a better partner for the Knickerbockers than Waste Management because, in plain terms, the Knicks are a dumpster on wheels. Their best player, Kristaps Porzingis, looks unhappy with the organization and its lack of direction.
The team waited to fire team president Phil Jackson until after the draft. So after he drafted the future talent that would shape his own vision, then they let him go. The best move New York made this offseason was trading away its second-best player, Carmelo Anthony.
Don't overthink this one. Waste Management is the call.
Oklahoma City Thunder
GM Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder were spectacular this offseason. Presti turned Doug McDermott, Enes Kanter, Victor Oladipo, Domantas Sabonis and a second-round pick into Carmelo Anthony and Paul George. Presti deserves Executive of the Year based on those two trades alone.
Take a look at the roster—an MVP and two All-Stars in a lineup together will make any GM's mouth water.
Imagine George as an off-ball scorer and Anthony as a spot-up shooter. There are so many possibilities for this Thunder team. That's why Twitter is the perfect partner. You can stare at Twitter for hours without getting bored. The endless entertainment and hilarity often makes users wonder aloud how it's still free.
Also, Twitter played a huge part in "Hoodie Melo" became a sensation. The two sides owe each other.
The Eastern Conference is much weaker than it was last year. Many star players left for the West (Paul George, Carmelo Anthony, Jimmy Butler), which leaves a void for some players to come in and take control. Or, maybe, a whole team.
The Washington Wizards are a top-three team in the East and have a lot to prove. Last year, they showed their fans promise by taking the Cleveland Cavaliers head-on in a game that went into double-overtime. This proved the Wizards could hang with the best team in the East, the reigning champs.
Because of the lack of depth in the East, the Wizards just need to stick to their strategy, play their game and hope for a little magic. Or a sponsorship by Disney.
The Orlando Magic, who currently hold the sponsorship, could have full access to Walt Disney's imagination machine and still not make it past the first round. The Wizards, on the other hand, are close enough to make something happen. Maybe the Cavs have a catastrophic meltdown or the new-look Celtics' chemistry is off the whole season. The Wiz have shown they have the talent to match up with anyone, but as any honest success story will tell you, getting over that last hurdle to glory requires a little bit of luck, a little bit of magic.
Does Washington believe?