Trail Blazers Jerseys, Including Practice And Summer League Jerseys, To Feature Biofreeze Sponsor Patch

by Casey Holdahl
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Since the NBA approved the addition of jersey sponsorship patches a few seasons back, 23 teams have entered into partnerships with various entities to feature logos on their uniforms. And while the Portland Trail Blazers had considered multiple partnerships throughout the last two years they declined to take on a jersey patch sponsor, for various reasons.

At least until now.

The team announced on Wednesday that they have entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Performance Health, billed as a "global leader in rehabilitation and sports medicine," the centerpiece of which is a jersey patch featuring their product Biofreeze starting this season.

"We got really close with a couple early on when this became an opportunity in the NBA, deals fell apart, so we decided to take a little bit of a step back because we wanted to find the right partner," said Trail Blazers President Chris McGowan. "But when we kind of relaunched to the opportunity, we were having conversations with a few people and we felt this was the most authentic to our brand and one that would resonate really well with our fans, so we were hoping we could pursue a deal with this one. Had a bunch of great conversations, probably six months ago, and things progressed to finalizing a deal a month ago."

As a part of the multi-year agreement, which was helped set in motion thanks to a collaboration with Oak View Group's Global Partnerships team, the Biofreeze logo will appear on all of the Trail Blazers' jerseys, including all game jerseys, practice jerseys and Las Vegas Summer League jerseys. The Biofreeze logo will also appear on media interview backdrops. Also included in the agreement are activations online and in arena, on team broadcasts and through community outreach events.

"This is a really exciting moment for our company, said Michael McGoohan, Chief Marketing Officer of Performance Health. "Performance Health is a global leader in the rehab, recovery and sports performance space. We distribute to the largest hospital systems, outpatient rehab clinics as well as athletic training facilities in the country. We’re really proud to feature, in this partnership, our Biofreeze brand, which is the number one clinically recommended pain relief product that we sell, not only through professional channels, but also direct to consumers at retail stores.

"This partnership is a really special one for us because our approach to partnership is really all about authenticity. We look for partners who share our values, share the same commitment to helping people achieve their own personal goals and really a strong commitment to health and wellness. And when we look at the Trail Blazers organization, partners such as Moda Health, Nike, others, it’s a really logical fit for us and became a real priority for us as we looked at potential ways to grow the awareness of our brand."

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The patch features the Biofreeze wordmark with five underlining dots. The wordmark is black with green dots on the white and black jerseys, while the patch on the red jerseys are all white.

"We wanted to lean into something that was really authentic and true to our brand but also really respectful of the partnership we’re forming here, so we’ve actually altered our marks slightly," said McGoohan. "You’ll see there are five dots below that representing the five stripes of the Blazer pinwheel to try to bring the two brands together."

According to McGoohan, Performance Health have provided their products, including Biofreeze, which comes as a gel, cream, spray and roll-on, to local outfits such as the University of Oregon and Oregon State, the Portland Clinic, Rebound and other companies working in sports medicine. The Trail Blazers were already utilizing Performance Health's products in their locker room, making the partnership a perfect fit for both parties.

"Having done a lot of sports deals, sports for us is all about creating authentic content that brings us closer to the community," said McGoohan. "So one of the key parts of this deal would be that, with every jersey sold, a portion of the proceeds is going to be given back to the Portland community to support local organizations. We’re also going to seek for opportunities to build upon, like we’ve done with some of our other partnerships, how do we ingrain ourselves further within the broader pacific northwest with programming around rehab, recovery and sports performance, which is really the core of our business."

The partnership with the Trail Blazers is the latest in a string of agreements with various professional sports franchises, though this is their first with an NBA team.

"For the last 25 years we’ve been used by athletes, and so we partner with individual athletes like Sloane Stephens and Shaun White," said McGoohan. "We also have just entered this year, all within the last seven or eight months, a number of agreements in Major League Baseball, in the professional marathon circuit and now in the NBA. So we partner on the baseball side with some of the best teams in the league — Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, San Francisco Giants and the LA Dodgers — we’re the title sponsor of the Biofreeze San Francisco Marathon. We’re also significant partner with the Chicago Marathon, which is upcoming in two weeks, and the New York Marathon."

Between the qualify of Performance Health's products, their experience working with professional athletes and organizations and their commitment to the community, the Trail Blazers' decision to enter into the partnership was ultimately an easy one.

"It was only a no-brainer if we found the right partner that was authentic that would resonate with our fans," said McGowan. "Fortunately we have an owner who allows us to be strategic. We could have done this deal probably a year ago but we wanted to take the right approach and find the right partner. And obviously I think for a lot of the reasons you’ve heard today, this aligns with what we’re all about in an amazing way. So we chose to go this route but it definitely wasn’t a must-do. It’s an amazing opportunity but for me, it’s always been about finding the right partner."

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