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The Warriors sign a NBA ad patch deal with Rakuten

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Now that advertisements on jerseys are allowed under league rules, multiple teams have sought advertisers for small patches on their jerseys. The Warriors’ deal with Rakuten is the biggest yet.

The new Rakuten patch on the Warriors’ jersey

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the Warriors signed a deal with Rakuten, a Japanese tech and commerce company, to place advertisement patches on the Warriors, jersey. It is worth $20 million, the most of any team’s deal in the league, due to the Warriors’ recent success and growing brand.

Rakuten is the company behind apps like Ebate, Viber, and Kobo, and has recently signed a massive deal with FC Barcelona, one of the premier soccer clubs in the world. It is occasionally referred to as the "Amazon of Japan."

The Warriors’ deal with Rakuten continues their recent campaign in Asia, the fastest-growing basketball market in the world. Reportedly, this deal with Rakuten was not the highest bid the Warriors were offered, but the Warriors really wanted to fulfill their "global vision" and chose Rakuten specifically.

In the first year ad patches are allowed under league rules, fourteen teams have sought to add them to their jerseys. Notably, multiple big-market teams, such as the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks, have opted against them.

The ad patches themselves are a topic of heated debate, with many arguing that ads compromise the jersey in an unfaithful, obviously lucrative fashion. But the patches, especially this Rakuten one, are unobtrusive, and will be barely visible during gameplay.