Michael Jordan is attracting sponsors and big money to the Charlotte Bobcats. The newly minted owner of the NBA franchise is using a strategy that appeals to companies that already pay MJ to endorse their products.
Sports Business Journal reported this week that video game maker, 2K Sports has announced its first NBA sponsorship deal and it's with the Bobcats.
Jordan's face is on the cover of the company's latest product, "NBA 2K11". He is the first owner of a basketball franchise to appear on the cover art of a video game. The Hall of Famer is also featured within the game itself along with other former NBA stars.
The deal cut between 2K Sports and the Bobcats includes placing their signage in the arena where the Bobcats play as well as inclusion of their advertising on the team's website and product placement at the in-arena merchandise store.
Other Jordan sponsors have done deals with the Bobcats including Hanes, the Jordan Brand clothing line and now Gatorade, already a Bobcats sponsor will discuss expanding the scope of its current arrangement with the team.
The Journal reported that the year-to-year difference in the number of sponsors and the sale of season ticket packages is truly noteworthy.
Last year the team had 55 sponsors and today the number stands at 90 with more to come as the 2010-11 season commences. The Bobcats have sold 1,500 new season ticket packages and its renewal rate is in the top 10 among all NBA teams.
They're a fairly new team in professional sports who haven't won much in their short existence. This past season was the first time they made a playoff appearance, although they didn't survive the first round.
Unlike other young teams, like the Oklahoma City Thunder, they have no budding super star to use as the face of their franchise.
What the Bobcats have is a famous and successful coach named Larry Brown who was brought in at the suggestion of Michael Jordan. He and Brown are both alums of North Carolina and that powder blue of the Tarheels unis runs deep within them.
But Jordan, more so than Brown was the face of the Charlotte Bobcats, despite MJ being a mere minority owner until 2010. Now it is clear who the draw is for fans and for sponsors.
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