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For years soccer fans have always known their favorite team’s main sponsor. It’s unavoidable with the company name located on the front of the chest. That’s never been the case in the NFL, NBA, or MLB. However, in recent years, the NBA has ventured into jersey sponsorships in a much more discrete way with the use of patches. 

The LA Lakers joined the patch sponsorship game in 2017-2018 when they partnered with an unknown California-based company called Wish. Three years into the deal, and it’s proven to be quite lucrative for the Lakers. Here’s a look at what Wish is and the staggering amount of money the company pays each year just to be on the LA Lakers’ jerseys.

What is Wish and why did LA Lakers partner with them on patch deal?

As other NBA teams were signing deals with patch sponsors for the 2017-18 season, the LA Lakers didn’t have an agreement in place when a San Francisco-based e-commerce company called Wish reached out to the team. 

Lakers chief operating officer Tim Harris met with Wish officials and learned about Wish. The company features a mobile app that provides users with access to millions of items at dramatically reduced prices. Wish is able to offer discounted prices because it allows the customer to order direct from the factory and receive the products in 5-15 days. 

“We are thrilled to welcome Wish as a new partner of the Los Angeles Lakers,” Harris said at the signing. “When it came to the jersey patch, knowing its prominent placement, our goal was to partner with an innovative and ambitious global company. Wish more than checks that box. They are a leader in e-commerce and are constantly striving to grow and improve their brand and how they connect with their consumers. In addition, and most importantly, we are excited to partner with a company that shares our commitment to giving back to the community.”

How much does Wish pay for the patch sponsorship?

The Wish logo is prominently featured on the Lakers jersey on the front left shoulder opposite the Nike logo on the right side. Not surprising, the logo’s placement on prime real estate with one of the most recognizable teams in all of sports includes a hefty price tag.

According to various reports, the Lakers signed a three-year agreement with Wish and the deal is worth between $12-14 million annually, making it one of the top tier NBA jersey patch deals. But it’s not the highest-paying deal.

LA Lakers’ patch deal with Wish not highest-paying in NBA

When the LA Lakers signed their deal with Wish, they became the 16th team to partner with a patch sponsor. And while the deal was lucrative, it wasn’t tops in the NBA. 

Ironically, that honor belongs to the Golden State Warriors, the club that plays in Wish’s hometown of San Francisco. The Warriors signed an annual agreement in 2017-18 for $20 million per year with another online retailer very similar to Wish called Rakuten. 

Three years into the patch sponsorship deals, and it appears to be paying off. According to a study commissioned by Sports Business Journal, most NBA teams are in the market seeking new patch deals that could reportedly be worth at least 30% more than when the original sponsorships sold three seasons ago.

Whether the LA Lakers and Wish renew their agreement after this season is yet to be determined. But based on the latest numbers, whoever signs with the Lakers will get great exposure, especially if the team does what most expect and makes another run at an NBA title.