NBA following soccer, car racing to emblazon sponsors' logos on player jerseys
Sacramento Kings players will wear the Blue Diamond Growers logo on their uniforms next season under an experimental NBA marketing program, the team announced Monday.
Blue Diamond will pay the Kings a reported $5 million a year under a pilot program starting with the 2017-18 season.
The Kings are the second NBA team to announce a uniform sponsorship, following the Philadelphia 76ers' deal with StubHub.
The Kings described the Blue Diamond uniform sponsorship as part of a broader agreement with the giant Sacramento almond grower. Blue Diamond products will be sold throughout the Kings’ new arena, Golden 1 Center, starting this season. The logo for the company’s Almond Breeze drink will appear on the court apron below the visitors’ and Kings’ benches this year.
Team President Chris Granger said the Blue Diamond agreement is also part of a plan to promote healthy eating and farm-to-fork agriculture. The Kings have been touting the fact that 90 percent of the food served at Golden 1 comes from a 150-mile radius of Sacramento.
“We are proud of this community’s history of high-quality agriculture,” Granger said in a prepared statement. “It’s why we’ve committed to supporting local producers by using locally sourced food in our arena and why our players are proud to showcase the Blue Diamond brand on the court and around the league.”
Blue Diamond has been an increasingly aggressive marketer in recent years, a trend that has included sports sponsorships. The company sponsored the U.S. swim and volleyball teams at the Summer Olympics. “This innovative partnership helps us to clearly connect our global Blue Diamond and Almond Breeze brands with elite professional athletes to inspire healthier lifestyles,” Blue Diamond Chief Executive Mark Jansen said in a prepared statement.”