The Washington Wizards’ 2021-22 regular season campaign began. Besides a 2-0 start,one thing has been evident on the look of their uniforms. Their GEICO jersey patch no longer appears on the left side of their jerseys anymore. Jersey ads have been controversial part of in the NBA, but they have been lucrative. With the Wizards not having anyone ad sponsor, that also costs them potential revenue.
So, I was wondering when they would get a new sponsorship and what happened to Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s relationship with GEICO. The previous jersey sponsorship included the Wizards, Mystics and Capital City Go-Go.
Why is the jersey patch no longer there?
The jersey sponsorship lapsed last August, according to Jabari Young of CNBC. The Washington Mystics’ season was still ongoing at the time, but they kept wearing jerseys with the GEICO logo. Therefore the news and this photo (among many others) indicate that any chances on Mystics jerseys will be effective in the 2022 WNBA season.
Young’s article indicated that Monumental Sports & Entertainment is openly looking for a new sponsorship for the Monumental Basketball family (Wizards, Mystics, Go-Go, and Wizards District Gaming), in the range of $12 million per year. However, the arbitrary market rate was around $10 million per year.
In addition, Young reported that a future jersey sponsorship may also include the Capitals. He also reported that GEICO remains a “legacy” partner.
Does Monumental Sports still have a sponsorship with GEICO today?
Last week, I asked the Wizards PR department a question regarding their sponsorship with GEICO and on a future jersey sponsorship. I did not ask about any chatter regarding whether a future jersey sponsorship would include the Capitals or not. Their statement is below.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment (MSE) has a longstanding and multi-layered partnership with GEICO, and we are continuing our programing together while focusing on other priorities. With the jersey patch, MSE knows it has an unprecedented opportunity with the Washington Wizards, Mystics, Capital City Go-Go and Wizards District Gaming teams for a combined jersey asset. This type of opportunity to partner with all our basketball properties in such a visible way is very rare in the NBA and is something so important to all our teams that we are being very thoughtful to make sure it is the right fit for all. It is a relationship which we believe will be impactful when we announce our decision at the right time.
It’s unclear when MSE will annonce a new sponsorship, though Young indicated that October was a goal last August. The GEICO sponsorship was announced on November 2018, or the middle of the NBA season, so it would not be unprecedented if a new sponsorship were announced sometime during the middle of the NBA season.
There are no specifics on what company is in a leading position to get the sponsorship. However, Young mentioned that MSE didn’t rule out the possibility of an international company getting the sponsorship due to the number of non-American Wizards players on the roster in recent seasons. And there are international companies that have or had sponsorships with Monumental in recent seasons:
- AB InBev — This is a brewery conglomerate from Belgium which includes the American-based Anheuser-Busch. They are most famous here in the DMV for Belgian beers like Stella Artois and American beer Budweiser. If Emma Meesseman played this season for the Mystics, MSE could have used this more to their advantage.
- Etihad Airways — It is the second flagship airline of the United Arab Emirates and has been the sponsor of Capital One Arena’s VIP lounge.
- Alibaba — Joe Tsai, the owner of the Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty, is a corporate board member of the Chinese ecommerce giant. But that didn’t stop them from having a sponsorship with the Wizards at least.
- NEC — This is a Japanese tech company that joined in, most notably (I’m not sure if NEC was a sponsor before) after Rui Hachimura was drafted in 2019.
To be clear, this list of non-American companies is NOT meant to imply that MSE is considering a jersey sponsorship with them. It’s just to say that they have or have had recent sponsorships with these companies. So don’t be surprised if a non-American-based company shows up on a Wizards, Go-Go, Wizards District Gaming or Mystics jersey in the weeks or months ahead.
We will let you if and when MSE announces a new basketball team jersey sponsor.