The NBA began allowing teams to sell advertising space on their uniforms in 2017. In the six years since then, we’ve seen ads for all sorts of corporations (and one charity initiative), but the Hornets are trying something this season that we haven’t seen before: They’ve just announced that they’re going to wear an ad for a snack food brand that was launched last year by a popular social media celebrity.
According to ESPN, the guy behind all of this “is believed to have the most subscriptions of any individual on YouTube, TikTok, [Twitter], and Instagram — over 350 million combined followers.”
While most teams view uni advertising as a self-contained revenue stream, the Hornets apparently believe this ad can also drive merch sales. Per Sports Business Journal:
A source within the Hornets organization, whose prior jersey patch partnership with Lending Tree recently expired, believes Feastables is the one patch “that can actually help sell merchandise, where people will say, ‘I want that jersey because I want the patch on it.’” According to sources, Lending Tree, a Hornets partner for six years, chose not to renew — leading new owners Gabe Plotkin and Rick Schnall [who recently took over ownership from Michael Jordan] “to come up with something new and different’’ to potentially grow their fanbase.
The new ad will also appear on the uniforms of the Hornets’ G League and esports affiliates. Additional info here.