The Clippers have become the 20th NBA team to put an ad on their jersey — and it will start tonight (Tuesday) vs. the Pelicans.
Los Angeles had reached a deal with Bumble, the dating and social networking app where (in heterosexual matchups) the women have to contact the men first. The deal is reportedly for three years at about $20 million total.
It was the diversity of Steve Ballmer’s workforce — the Clippers have Gillian Zucker as President of Business Operations, the only woman in the NBA with that job and title — that helped drive the deal with female-led Bumble.
“Never before has a major professional sports team partnered in this way with a female-driven brand like Bumble,” said Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble founder and CEO. “It’s an honor to partner with an organization as progressive and compassionate as the Clippers. Like us, they know generating awareness for diversity and gender equality is critical to business success.”
“Through Steve Ballmer’s leadership, the Clippers have a clear commitment to diversity and equal opportunity,” said Zucker. “From our players on the court to our leadership team, we are proud to stand with Bumble and do our part to emphasize that diversity and gender equality in the workplace is essential to organizational excellence. Bumble’s message and technology provide a platform for women in new and non-traditional spaces and it’s important to the Clippers that we innovate and reach our fans wherever our fans are.”
A few app companies have chosen NBA jerseys as a good way to reach out — “Wish” with the Lakers, for example — but most of the business partnerships have been more regional: Harley Davidson with Milwaukee, Disney with Orlando, Goodyear with Cleveland, for example.