Sponsored jersey patches were a polarizing subject when they were first introduced to the NBA in 2016. Now, they’re nothing more than an afterthought, especially since the patches aren’t on the swingman jerseys sold through Nike.
Wish, an online shopping service, has been the official jersey patch sponsor of the Los Angeles Lakers since 2017, but their three-season partnership with the company will expire at the end of this season. For that reason, the Lakers announced on Tuesday that they’ve hired Sportfive — a global sports business agency — to secure their next jersey sponsor, which is valued at nearly $200 million, according to Nielsen Sports.
While we’re confident that the Lakers and Sportfive will have no trouble finding a sponsor on their own, we thought we’d throw out a few of our suggestions — you know, just in case they need a few ideas.
What says “Southern California” more than an In-N-Out burger with grilled onions, well-done fries and strawberry shake? Nothing, and that’s why they need to make a bid to sponsor the Lakers’ jersey patch.
In-N-Out already sponsors the Lakers’ radio broadcasts on ESPN LA 710, so why not go one step further and sponsor the entire team? Can you imagine how popular an In-N-Out X Lakers collab would be? The shirts alone would be able to pay for Dennis Schröder’s impending contract extension!
In 2003, LeBron James signed a six-year endorsement deal with Coca-Cola and he stayed with the company up until January of this year. Then, in January, James left Coca-Cola to sign with their rival company, PepsiCo, who also happens to be the official beverage sponsor of the NBA.
Given James’ ties to the company, and Anthony Davis’ ties to Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a purple and gold Pepsi logo on the Lakers’ jersey next season.
One underrated storyline from this season is how often LeBron James has brought up Lobos 1707 Tequila, which James has an ownership stake in. In fact, during one of James’ postgame media availabilities earlier this season, he stopped himself in the middle of an answer to shout out Lobos by saying “shout out Lobos.” It was hilarious.
James would surely love to have Lobos be the Lakers’ next jersey patch sponsor, if for no other reason than it would let him bring up Lobos more, but he’d likely face some stiff competition from his boss, Jeanie Buss, who has an ownership stake in Cincoro Tequila.
Whether it’s Lobos or Cincoro, it would be incredible if the Lakers had a tequila sponsor their jersey patch next season. Picture it: Lawrence Tanter introducing the Lakers’ starting lineup to the tune of “Tequila” by The Champs. Staples Center would be the epicenter of all good things in Los Angeles.
Do you like these ideas? Have one of your own? Let us know in the comments below, and for more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.