LeBron James # 23 of the Los Angeles Lakers wins the basket against the Golden State Warriors during the 2021 NBA Play-In Tournament on May 19, 2021 at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California.
Adam Pantozzi | National Basketball Federation | Getty Images
Think of it as a different profession for the Los Angeles Lakers – but in the business department. The legendary franchise of the National Basketball Association has reached an agreement with the Canadian company BioSteel for its beverage sponsorship and left its long-term partner Gatorade, the parties informed CNBC.
Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed, but BioSteel will pay a fee to incorporate its brand into the team’s intellectual property on such deals. Industry experts estimate that beverage stores with top-market NBA teams can reach up to $ 5 million per season.
BioSteel will be publicized with its brand on the Lakers Bank, in the entire locker room and on signs in the arena. In an interview with CNBC on Monday, BioSteel co-founder and former professional hockey player Michael Cammalleri said the company was drawn to the Lakers’ high “visibility”. The team consists of top NBA stars including LeBron James and now Russell Westbrook, who was traded to the Lakers on August 6th. BioSteel wants to expand its presence in the US market; Hence, this deal will help.
“Partnering with the Lakers gives us that notoriety and awareness that we can now activate some of the sales and distribution initiatives that come with it,” said Cammalleri, who played 15 seasons in the National Hockey League.
BioSteel was founded in 2009 and specializes in sports nutrition products, including beverages and protein powders. It added NBA star and Dallas Mavericks striker Luka Doncic to its list of stocks last March. Doncic, who recently signed a five-year, $ 207 million extension, joined National Football League stars Patrick Mahomes and DeAndre Hopkins as BioSteel stakeholders.
Luka Doncic drinks BioSteel
Photo: Jason Chinnock | BioSteel
Cannabis company Canopy Growth acquired a controlling stake in BioSteel for about $ 40 million in 2019, according to PitchBook estimates. Canopy Growth is listed on the Nasdaq and has a market capitalization of $ 6.1 billion.
In the meantime, this deal will help the Lakers recover from the pandemic losses. According to Forbes, the Lakers will bring in around $ 400 million in revenue for 2021, up from $ 434 million last year. Other corporate partners are Verizon, Delta, and American Express.
BioSteel also has sponsorship agreements with other NBA clubs, including the Mavericks, Toronto Raptors, and Brooklyn Nets.
“Our focus at the moment was on the NBA, but we are working on a few things,” said Cammalleri of the focus on other leagues. “We’re pretty confident about our strategy, so we’re approaching our business with this calm confidence, and some of that is targeting the markets where we have team deals,” he added.
When asked if BioSteel is interested in the Lakers jersey patch, which is also a top NBA asset up for auction, Cammalleri replied: the United States. So a patch deal is a little less attractive to us than a moment in the bank.
Despite losing to the Lakers, Gatorade still has a significant presence in the NBA. In 2017, Gatorade took over the naming rights for the NBA’s development league – now called the G League. Parent company PepsiCo also partnered with James last March to endorse their Mountain Dew product.