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Detroit Pistons, Flagstar Bank Sign Jersey Sponsorship Deal

Detroit Pistons, Flagstar Bank Sign Jersey Sponsorship Deal

The Detroit Pistons are taking it to the bank.

Flagstar Bancorp Inc (NYSE: FBC) has signed on as the basketball team's first-ever jersey sponsor.

Flagstar CEO Alessandro DiNello said he's a lifelong Pistons fan. 

"It's great to have the team come back downtown. That's where they should be," DiNello said at an announcement held Wednesday at the Detroit Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) store. Flagstar, the largest Michigan-based bank, is working to build brand awareness, DiNello said, adding that the demographics of the viewers of televised NBA games will benefit Flagstar.

The Pistons will wear a new uniform made by Nike beginning this year. Coach Stan Van Gundy joked that he offered to model the uniform Wednesday, but was turned down.

The financial terms of the sponsorship deal weren't disclosed. The jersey patches are limited to 2 1/2 square inches or less by the NBA, and the sponsorship deals are being struck as three-year-long agreements as part of a pilot program. The Pistons are the 10th NBA team to strike a jersey sponsorship deal.

The Pistons are now set to return to Detroit and play at Little Caesars Arena — which the team will share with the Detroit Red Wings hockey team — pending NBA approval. The basketball team is owned by billionaire private equity investor Tom Gores, the founder of Platinum Equity.

Pistons Coach Stan Van Gundy joked that he offered to model the new Pistons uniform at the announcement of the team's jersey sponsorship deal with Flagstar Bank. Photo by Dustin Blitchok.

Flagstar is the presenting sponsor of the Pistons' Math Hoops, a community outreach initiative that includes a basketball board game, curriculum and academic program. Math Hoops helps students learn math fundamentals using the statistics of their favorite NBA players and is in place at 40 Michigan schools, according to the Pistons. 

"This is a dynamic partnership between two organizations committed to building a better Detroit," Gores said in a statement. "I'm really proud that this is more than just a business and marketing initiative," he said, referencing the Math Hoops program. "It's about working together to support the revitalization of the city."

Since the NBA authorized jersey sponsorships last year, the Cleveland Cavaliers —owned by Quicken Loans Chairman Dan Gilbert — signed a jersey sponsorship deal with Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co (NASDAQ: GT).

The Minnesota Timberwolves’ jersey sponsorship deal with Fitbit Inc (NYSE: FIT) includes both a jersey patch and the testing of Fitbit products by athletes.

Other teams that have struck sponsorship deals since the NBA began allowing them, according to Forbes, include:

  • Philadelphia 76ers, with StubHub, which is owned by eBay Inc (NASDAQ: EBAY).
  • Sacramento Kings, with Blue Diamond Growers.
  • Boston Celtics, with General Electric Company (NYSE: GE).
  • Brooklyn Nets, with Infor.
  • Utah Jazz, with Qualtrics.

Related Links:

CBRE: Downtown Detroit Will See $5.4 Billion Investment Between Now And 2020

Pistons Owner Tom Gores Seeking OK On Purchase Of Prison Phone Contractor


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