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Lakers' Wish comes true as company signs jersey sponsor

The Los Angeles Lakers will wear the Wish logo on their jerseys starting this season after agreeing to a three-year deal with the California-based e-commerce mobile app company.

The Lakers' multiyear deal with Wish -- a company that rose to prominence recently as a sponsor of the Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight -- will be for $12-14 million annually, as first reported by the Sports Business Journal. The jersey sponsorship ranks second behind the Golden State Warriors' deal with Rakuten, which is worth $20 million annually and includes naming rights to the Warriors' team facility.

The Lakers are the 16th team to announce a jersey sponsor deal. Their jerseys are one of the most attractive to sponsor, not just because of their storied franchise history, but also because of the size of the Los Angeles media market, their massive fan base and the added attention and hype surrounding No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball.

"Really, it is the everlasting brand that the Lakers have created that has lasted a generation," said Wish CEO Peter Szulczewski in a telephone interview. "In an era where public companies stay up on the stock exchange for shorter and shorter period of times, for us, an everlasting brand like the Lakers, it is something that we really admire and aspire to become."

Szulczewski -- who says Wish sells 2.5 million items per day and is fourth in items shipped behind Alibaba, Amazon and eBay -- also said there's the possibility of Wish doing something with Ball's Big Baller Brand down the road as well.

"Super excited about Lonzo," the Wish CEO said. "His energy, his social media reach is insane. It's wonderful. We will probably end up doing something with his brand hopefully and with Wish. ... He hasn't played a [regular season] minute, but he was MVP of summer league and there are certain rumors also about possible future player acquisitions," Szulczewski added of the Lakers having cap space to pursue free agents next summer.

The Lakers had discussions with "dozens and dozens" of brands but got serious only with a handful, according to Tim Harris, Lakers' president of business operations and COO.

"There are certainly some companies that have the budget and desire but not the right fit to put on our jersey, something we take great pride in," Harris said. "When we started this, it wasn't, 'Hey let's go find the biggest and best economic terms.' [It was,] 'Let's find somebody that we line up with culturally.' We weren't opposed to brick and mortar, but we were motivated by finding a company that is very forward thinking and heading in the direction that we are all heading. When we first met with Wish we just clicked."

The Wish patch will also be featured on the jerseys of the franchise's G League team, the South Bay Lakers. Wish will also have a presence at the team's new UCLA Health Training Center and at home games at Staples Center.

With the Lakers' jersey deal done, the Knicks, Bulls, Clippers, Rockets and Mavericks are other big-market teams that have yet to announce jersey sponsorship deals.

NBA jerseys will go on sale nationally on Sept. 29 but will not feature the logos of the patch sponsors. Those jerseys will be sold in team stores and at arenas.

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