Last year the shopping app Wish agreed to pay the Los Angeles Lakers somewhere between $36–$42 million over three years to have their name on the basketball team’s jersey.
This year, that sponsorship will be worth a lot more. That’s because LeBron James, probably the most famous basketball player of his generation, just signed a four-year, $154 million contract with the team.
Last season Cleveland Cavaliers sponsor Goodyear had the most valuable jersey sponsorship in the NBA thanks to James. It brought in an estimated $21 million in earned media for Goodyear. But the Lakers and Wish weren’t far behind, ranked fourth most valuable jersey sponsorship in the NBA thanks to the Lakers’ popularity. If that’s what a jersey is worth in a year when the team had 12 more losses than wins and was never close to making the playoffs, imagine what it might be worth on the best player in the NBA.
When Wish first bought the sponsorship last year, CEO Peter Szulczewski told Recode the company had made the decision because of the Lakers’ high exposure in China, where most of the app’s retailers are based.
James is also set to see his value increase. In 15 seasons in the NBA he’s earned an estimated $234 million. Under his new contract, he’ll make more than half that amount again in just four years.