The Philadelphia 76ers are becoming more and more like the Washington Generals of the National Basketball Association.
It used to be an incredibly respectable organization, with icons including Julius Erving and Allen Iverson, among others. They have been the laughingstock of professional basketball the past four seasons.
Averaging 20 wins (out of 82 games played) each of the last four campaigns, the 76ers have had a top-three draft pick for the last three seasons. Adding to their futility, the Sixers have the two worst full 82-game seasons in NBA history. Now, they’re the first to sign a sponsor for their jersey sales.
The Philadelphia 76ers and StubHub announce the first jersey patch sponsorship among major sports leagues in American history, making the Sixers the first NBA team to declare a jersey sponsor. (NBA.com)
This is a big move for the NBA because sponsors are always wanting more exposure, but it’s hard to tell how this is going to effect the league in getting more eyes on television and mobile device screens.
I’m not sure exactly how the National Football League and Major League Baseball continue to sell so well to the American, and international, consumer. What matters is that the NBA is wanting to be like its professional sports league brethren.
What’s interesting to note is that with whichever sponsors that NBA teams decide to couple with, their agreements should include a shared partnership in something that’s exclusive to their respective fans. I think the 76ers are setting the bar high in that department.
Continuing to break new ground in the sports and live event industry, earlier this year the Sixers made StubHub their Official Ticketing Partner and launched a revolutionary new ticketing platform. The new platform will give Sixers’ fans unparalleled access to primary and secondary ticket inventory with a seamless user and purchase experience starting in the 2016-17 season. (NBA.com)
I place my tongue firmly in my cheek when I say the following: the 76ers, with the way they’re playing, should do giveaways on StubHub. Their product is so terrible that the Philadelphia Phillies, Flyers and Union (Major League Soccer) are more exciting to watch.
Granted, I’m an outsider looking in and don’t truly understand the dynamic of being a 76ers fan, but it’s still awful to watch them.
Let’s get back to the bigger picture here. Let’s say, for example, the Los Angeles Lakers wanted to partner with American Airlines. Perhaps the airline will waive their baggage fees on the customer’s next flight (given a certain time frame).
How about the Minnesota Timberwolves, in conjunction with playing at Target Center, signed a contract with the retail giant? Maybe with proof of purchase of their game tickets, they can get 15% off their next transaction in the store?
I’m not saying I’m going to predict which sponsors will marry which teams or what their offers will be. However, I think this is the step in the right direction for the NBA, even if they have their worst team be a leader instead of a follower. Major kudos to the Association in keeping themselves relevant in the sports world.