The Dallas Mavericks became the 21st NBA franchise to sign a jersey sponsorship deal, agreeing to a 3-year partnership with the free local marketplace app, 5Miles. The wide-ranging partnership places the Craigslist rival’s orange logo on the team’s jersey, offers the mobile start-up signage throughout American Airlines Center and includes Harrison Barnes (team forward) as a “brand ambassador” (or spokesperson). 5Miles will also become an active member of the Mavs foundation, committed to helping with the expansion of the team’s entrepreneurial program (for DFW middle school students). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Howie Long-Short: Like Craigslist, 5Miles enables users to buy and sell products and services; the differentiator is that all transactions initiated within their app, occur within a 5-mile radius. The company is also considered an innovator in both the use and acceptance of cryptocurrency; Craigslist is anything but a technology innovator (see: website design). 5Miles has raised more than $50 million to date (all private money), including a B+ round in January 2016; a $30 million investment that valued the company at more than $300 million. Launched in ’15, 5Miles has more than 1 million users in the Dallas market (its largest market).
Fan Marino: The announcement of this partnership is the first piece of good news to come out of the Maverick’s organization in weeks. On the floor, the team is 25 games under .500; and remarkably, things have been worse off it. Sports Illustrated published an expose highlighting the “Corrosive Workplace Culture” (see: sexual harassment, domestic violence etc.) within the organization, the league fined the owner Mark Cuban $600,000 for suggesting that losing (or tanking) was in his team’s best interests and now Cuban has been accused of sexual assault. It makes you wonder if the reason financial terms were not disclosed, was because the team was forced to issue a steep discount to compensate for all the negative publicity. For what it’s worth, Cuban denied any potential sponsors pulled out of negotiations due to off-court concerns.
Dallas readers: Download the app, use the code GOMAVS and you’ll receive 2 tickets to a future home game.
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