Warriors find jersey patch partner

Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson, right, shakes hands with teammate Draymond Green (23) after Thompson scored during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The Golden State Warriors have linked up with the Japanese technology company, Rakuten, signing a lucrative $60 million jersey patch deal. ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the deal will run for three years at $20 million annually.

“We love sports,” Rakuten founder and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani told ESPN. “There’s a lot of emotion to it — great stories, smiles and tears.”

The Warriors are currently the mecca of the NBA, fresh off a title and two championships over the last three years. Golden State has represented the Western Conference in each of the past three seasons as well.

“We actually had multiple finalists,” Warriors chief marketing officer Chip Bowers added. “This was not the biggest deal that we were offered. We saw an opportunity given the visibility we were receiving. So we felt in order to grow our global vision, we had to be aligned with a global brand.”

Rakuten’s black and red logo will be pasted on the Warriors’ white jerseys while white patches will be sewed on the team’s blues.

“I’m thrilled that our deal did exactly what deals like this were intended to do when the league announced the program,” Warriors president Rick Welts said. “We signed a partner we had never done business with before. We signed a big deal with an international player and, in turn, we’ve boosted the value of the NBA and the Warriors outside of North America.

After beating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals a season ago, the “Dubs” are now set to open the 2017-18 campaign at home against the Houston Rockets.

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