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NBA now nearly matches NFL in corporate sponsorship revenue

Nov 4, 2017; Chicago, IL, USA; A general view of a basketball during a game between the Chicago Bulls and the New Orleans Pelicans at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

As the NFL continues to kick itself in the back end with controversy after controversy, the NBA is quickly making a name for itself as a realistic alternative for sports fans in the United States.

Whether it’s the NBA’s more progressive approach in today’s often volatile national landscape or a superior product, the Association’s popularity is increasing at an all-time clip.

Just ask corporate sponsors, who threw a combined $1.12 billion in the direction of the Association during the 2017-18 regular season.

“Corporate sponsors spent an estimated $1.12 billion on the NBA this season, fueled by the new sponsorship patches on team jerseys,” Daniel Roberts of Yahoo! reported. “That figure comes from IEG/ESP, a division of ad agency WPP that tracks sponsor spending and ROI on the major US sports leagues.”

According to the report, it’s an increase of 31 percent from the $861 million corporate sponsors threw in the direction of the NBA last season. It’s also second among the four major North American professional sports leagues, with the NFL coming in No. 1 at $1.25 billion.

One of the major reasons for this increase is the NBA’s decision to allow corporate advertising on team jerseys this season. That has helped create even more revenue.

It’s still rather astonishing. Back in 2013-14, corporate sponsors paid less than $680 million to the NBA and its 30 teams. Five years later, and that number is on the verge of doubling.