The Lakers on Monday unveiled a new sponsor for their jerseys: Bibigo, a South Korean line of dumplings, sauces and frozen meals.
The five-year deal is worth more than $ 100 million, according to people familiar with the deal, but not authorized to publicly disclose its terms. Deals to include logos on NBA jerseys have sold an average of $ 7 million to $ 10 million a year, according to The Athletic.
“The Lakers are the No. 1 team in the sport,” said Wookho Kyeong, chief marketing officer for CJ CheilJedang, Bibigo’s parent company. “The Lakers are more than a basketball team. The Lakers, worldwide, are a cultural icon, especially for young people.
That the Lakers are the team of Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson and LeBron James helps. Tim Harris, the Lakers’ president of business operations, said the Bibigo deal was expanded thanks to a recent change in NBA rules that allows teams to include their logos in overseas trade deals. Before the change, Harris noted, an English Premier League team could sell the rights to use its logo in a Los Angeles gym, but an NBA team could not sell the rights to use its logo in a London gym.
“Now they can use the Lakers logos around the world to improve and explain and promote their association,” Harris said.
Kyeong said his company has sponsored a PGA circuit event and several national teams competing in the Olympics, but this agreement is the first with a North American sports team.
The Lakers have about 60 million followers on social media – via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube and the Chinese site Weibo – more than any NBA team, and more than the population of South Korea. Kyeong said that social media base was critical to the company’s plans to expand the Bibigo brand beyond Asia and North America.
To read this note in Spanish click here