Warriors partner with Rakuten for lucrative jersey sponsorship deal

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The best team in the NBA has just inked the best, or at least the most lucrative deal in a new marketing platform -- jersey sponsorships. (KGO-TV)

The best team in the NBA has just inked the best, or at least the most lucrative deal in a new marketing platform. This season, NBA teams are allowed to sell ad patches on their jerseys.

Warriors superstars Draymond Green and Andrew Iguodala showed off the new jerseys with the red Rakuten logo on them. The Japanese high-tech company is said to have paid $60 million for the three-year deal.

LIST: A look at the 14 NBA teams with sponsored jerseys

"As a huge sports and basketball fan, I'm thrilled to be a partner with the Warriors," said Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitan.

Rakuten is not well known in the U.S. but is a giant in Japan. The company is valued at more than $15 billion by Forbes.

Fourteen NBA teams have jersey deals going into the new season. USF Marketing Professor John Omeara says it's a reminder that sports is big business. "As a big business, these teams have plans for growth and also big expenses," he said. "Previously, we would see the team offset expenses like stadium deals, sponsorships -- this is just the next in line of an obvious progression."
RELATED: Warriors sign jersey patch advertising deal with Rakuten

Warriors owner Peter Guber considers it more than a business agreement. "It's not a transaction, it's a relationship."

Ben Shapiro and his agency Pivot, have helped other teams including the Cleveland Cavaliers, with their logo negotiations. He says the Rakuten-Warriors partnership has value for both.

"Rakuten is hoping to become a household name in the U.S. For the Warriors it's strategic -- they're trying to expand and grow their brand globally, especially in Asia," Shapiro told ABC7 News.

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