Hornets in '20 reached three-year extension with LendingTree to keep the company as its jersey advertiser through the '22-23 NBA seasonNBAE/GETTY IMAGES
Hornets execs this week confirmed that they "will sell the space" on their pregame attire to advertisers after the NBA's recent approval of those assets, meaning either existing jersey patch sponsor LendingTree "would expand its presence, or a new corporate partner would gain advertising rights," according to Erik Spanberg of the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Two weeks ago, the NBA BOG granted teams the option of “selling one additional advertising patch” to a company to be placed on shooting shirts, or “put the existing game jersey advertiser on both team shooting shirts and warm-up tops.” An NBA spokesperson said that if an existing company decides to “buy the additional assets,” they could “promote an alternate logo or brand in the new space -- or use the same logo as featured on the game jersey.” LendingTree pays around $5M annually for its jersey placement, as well as "other marketing assets" with the Hornets and at the team’s Spectrum Center arena. Because the pre-game apparel is “less visible” than game jerseys, the new patch sponsorship will “generate a lower price.” Hornets CRO Jacob Gallagher and President Fred Whitfield “declined to speculate” on possible fees. Whitfield: “We envision whoever this jersey patch partner is having some other assets under the partnership. So, we’d have to build what that partnership looks like and one of the key assets would be the shooting shirt, but there’ll be some other assets in the partnership” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 1/6).