In this photo illustration a Coinbase logo is displayed on a smartphone with a NBA logo in the background.
Thiago Prudencio | Sopa Images | Lightrocket | Getty Images
Cryptocurrency companies helped fuel the NBA’s sponsorship revenue to a record $1.6 billion in the 2021-22 season, according to estimates by IEG, a sports partnerships consultancy.
That’s up 13% from the $1.4 billion in the 2020-21 season. In the 2018-19 season, the National Basketball Association raked in $1.2 billion in sponsorship money. Sponsorship agreements can include deals for arena-naming rights and for companies to put their names or logos on players’ jerseys.
“The cryptocurrency category’s sponsorship sending spree is like nothing we have ever seen before,” said said Peter Laatz, IEG’s global managing director.
Crypto partnerships are now the second most lucrative sponsorship category for the NBA, behind only the technology category. Among the NBA’s crypto deals this season was a league agreement with crypto trading platform Coinbase. CNBC reported that the deal is worth $192 million over four years.
Other categories estimated to pay the NBA over $100 million annually include banks, telecom and merchandise, according to IEG. Companies spending at least $50 million include Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, and AT&T.
Among the big four sports leagues, the NBA ranks third in sponsorship revenue. The NFL is No. 1 with nearly $2 billion in sponsorship deals for its 2021 season, according to IEG. And in March, CNBC reported MLB made $1.7 billion in sponsorships last season. The NHL secured $676 million in sponsorship money for the 2020-21 season.
IEG’s projections come as the NBA Finals are set to begin on Thursday, when the Golden State Warriors will host the Boston Celtics in Game 1 at Chase Center.
On the team front, the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to a 20-year arena-naming rights contract worth $700 million with platform Crypto.com. And the Warriors signed a $10 million global rights agreement with FTX, a…
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