The Brooklyn Nets are mired in a bit of a funk with four losses in their last five games. But that recent stretch is only a small dip in what’s been a dramatic upswing for the franchise this season.
The Nets, who are three games behind the Philadelphia 76ers for first place in the Eastern Conference with only four games remaining in the regular season, remain the favorite to win the NBA title by major sportsbooks across the country. Brooklyn’s Big Three of James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have raised expectations significantly.
Whether or not they ultimately win the NBA championship, the Nets have been the talk of the league this season. All of that positive momentum has been great for business, and it appears that several lucrative sponsorship opportunities — including one concerning the look of their uniform — could be on the horizon.
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New Uniform Patch for Nets?
Currently, the Nets have Motorola as the sponsor for the patches placed on their jerseys. But that could soon change as the team’s popularity continues to spike.
Brooklyn has been “actively wooing new sponsors for the patches,” according to The New York Post.
The Post added that the Nets are in talks with Motorla about renewing its uniform patch rights, which were acquired by the cellphone maker last year for an undisclosed amount.
Sources told The Post that the Nets expect to yield as much as $13 million a year for the uniform rights, which is more than Barclays center pays for the naming rights to the team’s home venue, Barclays Center.
That’s part of why Barclays Center could be headed for a name change. The Post said industry sources expect the Nets to be shopping for a new corporate sponsor to replace Barclays.
More from The Post here:
Now, branding experts say, the NBA franchise could easily snag between $15 million to $20 million for naming rights to the arena, especially if the team continues on its current trajectory.
When (Nets owner Joe) Tsai bought the Nets from Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov in 2019, the team was one of the worst teams in the NBA. Now its trio of star players — Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden — have made the Nets one of the most-watched teams in the league.
The stadium’s location in Brooklyn will also help it attract more money, experts said.
“Brooklyn and the Barclays Center is at the epicenter of sports, entertainment, media and culture,” said Octagon Executive Vice President Woody Thompson, who advises major brands and clients on sponsorship opportunities, including venue-naming rights.
“There is an opportunity here to be in a part of the city, and in a landmark facility that is gaining a lot of steam and exposure.”
Tsai took to Twitter to temper expecations of a name change to the venue.
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Steve Nash Shares Promising Update on Harden
Brooklyn’s Big Three has played only seven games together since the team traded for Harden in mid-January. But the trio could finally reunite on the court in the not-so-distant future.
Harden hasn’t played in a game since April 5 as he’s dealt with a strained hamstring, but Nets coach Steve Nash had on Monday an encouraging update on his superstar’s status.
Nash told reporters that Harden is putting in high intensity workouts in practice, per Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. The Nets’ first-year coach wouldn’t guarantee that Harden plays this week, but said it’s possible he plays one or more of the team’s last four regular-season games, per Schiffer.