The NBA was one of the first sport leagues to utilize blockchain technology, first through the launch of NBA Top Shot and more recently with a number of team and player specific non-fungible tokens, known as NFTs. So it makes sense that a company whose business is built on blockchain would be interested in getting their product in front of as many NBA eyeballs as possible. And there’s not better way to achieve that exposure than with a jersey patch.
The Trail Blazers announced on Thursday that they had entered into an agreement with StormX, an company based out of Seattle that features an app with allows users to earn rewards which are then paid out in cryptocurrency, to become the team’s new jersey patch partner and their first partner in the technology space. With the agreement, the Trail Blazers become the first team to have a cryptocurrency as their jersey patch partner.
“We are extremely excited to have our team wear such a groundbreaking, revolutionary company on the front of our jerseys,” said Chris McGowan, President & CEO, Portland Trail Blazers and Rose Quarter, via press release. “StormX is a fresh, energetic company with Pacific Northwest roots that can educate and motivate Rip City around cryptocurrency and earning Crypto Cashback. I look forward to taking these next steps together as partners.”
While StormX has a host of offerings -- they have their own token and are in the process of launching a debit card -- their main product is an app/Chrome extension that gives users rewards for shopping at select retailers. The difference between StormX and most other rewards programs? StormX gives their users the option of getting their “cashback” in cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency space can be a bit vexing for the uninitiated, so a product like StormX’s Crypto Cashback that allows for a low-risk way to get in on the crypto craze.
“We’re honored to be the first crypto company to form a jersey sponsorship with not only a team of such high caliber, but also with a league of the same stature,” said Simon Yu, CEO and Co-Founder of StormX, via release. “Like the Trail Blazers namesake, we see ourselves as trail blazers in the drive for the mass adoption of crypto, by helping everyday people earn crypto while they shop.”
The new patch features the StormX logo -- a stylized “X” on a circular field -- and wordmark. The “X” in the logo matches the color of the jersey (a black “X” on the black “Icon” jerseys, a white “X” on the white “Association” jersey, and so forth) while the text is white on the black “Icon” jersey, red on the white “Association” jersey and white on the red “Statement” jersey. To put it more succinctly, the colors on the patch conform to the standard colors the team uses.
But the partnership between the Trail Blazers and StormX goes beyond the logo patch adorning both game and practice jerseys. As a part of the agreement, StormX becomes the “exclusive blockchain partner” of the Trail Blazers, so the team will utilize that technology in the future seems likely. What’s more, the team will he releasing their first NFT in mid-July that will closely mirror the Gameday Poster Series to celebrate the partnership with StormX, making it the first time an NBA team and a corporate partner have teamed up on an NFT.
And unlike previous partnerships, the agreement with StormX allows both the team and the sponsor to enter into the NBA’s International Team Marketing Program. Usually individual NBA teams and their sponsors are limited to marketing in the United States and Canada, however, this partnership includes the rights to “distribute and conduct team-identified marketing and activities internationally,” with allows for both the Trail Blazers and StormX to expand their reach beyond North America. After all, basketball is a global game.