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When San Antonio Spurs players go up against the Miami Heat in the first preseason game on Sept. 30, they will be sporting Nike jerseys bearing a 2.5-inch Frost Bank sunburst logo on the left shoulder.
The Spurs and Frost Bank announced Wednesday an expanded multiyear marketing partnership that will make the banking, investments, and insurance company the first-ever jersey sponsor of the Spurs. The deal also included expanded in-arena and digital presences.
Though neither organization disclosed the price for the sponsorship deal, other NBA teams have sold the jersey spot for $5 million and up, depending on how the team itself is valued. Forbes magazine ranks the Spurs’ franchise at No. 11, worth $1.5 billion.
Last fall, the Golden State Warriors (ranked No. 3) got $20 million a year for three years in their deal with Japanese company Rakuten Inc., and in May, the Cleveland Cavaliers (ranked 15th) reportedly sold the logo patch to Goodyear for $10 million a year.
When the NBA began allowing teams to sell jersey sponsorships in April 2016, Commissioner Adam Silver said the league had calculated that the program would be worth about $100 million a year.
Frost Bank’s relationship with the Silver and Black goes way back. Former Chairman Emeritus Tom Frost Jr., who died Aug. 10, provided the financing necessary to move the franchise from Dallas to San Antonio in 1973.
“We wanted to partner with them because Frost and the Spurs share the same values of integrity, caring and excellence,” said Frost Chairman and CEO Phil Green in a statement. “… As we welcome the Spurs into the Frost family, we hope they will wear the logo as proudly as we do.”
Companies that sponsor NBA jerseys will see a return on investment valued at $350 million in social media alone, according a report in Forbes that cited sports media valuation company GumGum Sports. It is considered better signage placement than the basket stanchion, pole pad, or floor of the basketball court. Only the apparel sponsor, Nike, has better signage placement in all of the NBA.
“It was very important for us to find a jersey patch partner that best aligned with our company culture and values, and Frost Bank is the perfect match as demonstrated in the exemplary professional and community service that they have provided to Texans for now over 150 years,” stated Rick Pych, Spurs Sports & Entertainment president and CEO.