The Clippers are partnering with a dating app and providing them premium signage on all jerseys.
We are now up to 21 of 30 NBA teams who have a jersey sponsor with the latest deals involving the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Clippers. While the Mavs signed a deal with an e-commerce app, the Clippers picked a rather unique sponsor; Bumble.
If you have not heard of Bumble, they are a dating app for smart phones that markets itself more toward women by having added safety precautions for them. This is unique because most teams have opted for more traditional companies or industries for jersey patches; usually companies relating to food, finances, technology, or tickets.
However, the Clippers and the Mavs both chose phone apps. Los Angeles and Bumble differentiate themselves because a dating app might just be the last company you would expect to become a jersey sponsor for any sports team. It doesn't mean that it won't work out, it will just have to be activated accordingly.
The Clippers are already referring this as an "empowerment badge" and marketing it as a promotion of gender equality. This is congruent with their front office as they are leaders in the NBA in terms of female employees. Bumble will be on every variant of the Clippers jersey and will be seen for every game, including possible playoff games.
You can check out some pictures of Clippers jerseys with the patch as well as what Bumble's app looks like.
1.) The Clippers are in one of the biggest markets in the country, so the audience Bumble will reach should be large.
2.) It helps the Clippers and Bumble are making this about more than just signage and brand awareness by providing meaning for the partnership.
3.) It is 2018, most people in this country (especially NBA fans) have smart phones and utilize apps. The NBA has the youngest fan base of any of the major sport leagues in the country so partnering with an app is catered toward the target demographic.
4.) More than 60% of NBA teams now have jersey sponsors. When they first announced this, there was some pushback and a lot of publicity. However, now it is accepted and you do not hear much negativity around it. Think about what teams' jerseys you would want to sponsor as more leagues inevitably start allowing it.
Written by: James Campbell
James Campbell is currently in his Senior year at the University of Michigan. In May of 2018, he will receive his BA degree in Sport Management. Throughout his time at Michigan, he has worked with Detroit City FC, MiLife Sport & Social Club, and USA Hockey. - @Jimmy10Campbell