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Kings become second team to sign jersey sponsorship deal

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The Kings have partnered with Blue Diamond on a three-year sponsorship deal that will put Blue Diamond’s logo on the Kings jerseys.

The days of the NBA not having advertisements on jerseys are over. Thanks in part to the NBA’s new program, the Kings have become the second team (the 76ers were first) to sign a jersey sponsorship deal. Sacramento has partnered with Blue Diamond for three years and Blue Diamond’s logo will appear on all player jerseys for the upcoming season. It should be noted that this will only be the case for player-worn jerseys and jerseys for fans will still come advertisement free (for now). According to Forbes, this new sponsorship is worth $5 million a year.

Here’s what the Kings have to say about their new sponsorship:

Sacramento, CA – Today, the Sacramento Kings announced a new partnership with Sacramento-based Blue Diamond Growers, the world’s leading almond brand. The new partnership connects the Sacramento Kings with an internationally recognized company that shares the team’s vision for showcasing the best of California in a global marketplace, highlighting the regional roots in agriculture, and investing in health and wellness.

Blue Diamond Growers represent 100 years of agricultural history in Northern California, with over 3,000 family growers helping to produce eighty percent of the world’s almonds. As the Kings move into Golden 1 Center – the world’s greenest and technologically advanced arena, they’ll feature an unmatched food sourcing program that honors the rich regional agricultural tradition by utilizing sources within 150 miles of the arena. Together, the Kings and Blue Diamond will seek to inspire others to take steps toward healthy, fulfilling lives.

“For decades, Blue Diamond almonds have been one of Sacramento’s most well-known products around the country,” said Kings President Chris Granger. “We are proud of this community’s history of high-quality agriculture – it’s why we’ve committed to supporting local producers by using locally sourced food in our arena and why our players are proud to showcase the Blue Diamond brand on the court and around the league.”

Though the partnership, Blue Diamond and the Kings will be one of the first to experiment with the NBA’s industry-leading jersey sponsorship pilot program. Beginning in the 2017 season, a Blue Diamond logo will be incorporated in all of the Sacramento Kings uniforms.

Blue Diamond will also join the Kings for their inaugural season at Golden 1 Center – the world’s first LEED Platinum indoor arena -- as they seek to transform Sacramento and the region beyond. Beginning with the 2016-17 season, the Blue Diamond Almond Breeze logo will appear on the court apron below the visitor and Kings benches. Fans will find select menu items that feature high-quality Blue Diamond almonds, as well as Blue Diamond Almond Breeze beverages at arena kiosks.

“Blue Diamond has quietly created every major innovation in almonds, including the almond milk category,” said Blue Diamond CEO Mark Jansen. “This innovative partnership helps us to clearly connect our global Blue Diamond and Almond Breeze brands with elite, professional athletes to inspire healthier lifestyles. As with our recent support of U.S.A. Swimming and Volleyball, we’re excited to join the Kings as part of our continued commitment to wellness and active living.”

For more information about the Sacramento Kings and the partnership, visit Kings.com. For more information about Blue Diamond Growers, visit BlueDiamond.com.

Personally, I’m not a fan but I’ve never been a big fan of advertisements on jerseys in general. I understand that it’s basically free money for the team, but I hate seeing the NBA head down the road that professional soccer took a long time ago in turning the player’s jersey into one big advertisement. If they can keep the ads small and relatively unintrusive like they are now, that’d be one thing, but I feel like this is merely the first step on the way to turning player jerseys into NASCAR cars. It might not be soon, but it seems inevitable at this point.