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As Irving's evasions regarding vax status lead Nets news, team signs huge deal with patch sponsor Webull; is Barclays (renegotiation? exit?) next?

Well, the biggest Brooklyn Nets news yesterday was the absence of unvaccinated star guard Kyrie Irving from the media day--clearly a source of internal tension--and Irving's avoidance of answers when queried afterward.

That suggests he might miss home games in New York, given city vax requirements, diminishing team power and unity.

As Kristian Winfield of the New York Daily News put it:
The lack of clarity on Irving’s status hovers like a dark cloud wafting above Barclays Center, overshadowing a Nets season with tangible championship aspirations. Irving is a key piece to the Nets’ hopes, a gifted scorer and ballhandler coming off of the most efficient shooting season of his NBA career.
And the small but vocal number of NBA anti-vaxxers overshadowed media day around the league yesterday.

A big new sponsor

But the biggest news for the franchise was the departure of one-year jersey patch sponsor Motorola and the purported "cultural alignment" Brooklyn Nets management touted just last year. 

Motorola paid more than $10 million for a year (estimated), which this deal with the somewhat obscure Webull is (reportedly) $30 million a year, the largest in the league, well north of the Golden State Warriors' $20 million a year. This covers uniform patches and more for the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Liberty, the minor league Long Island Nets, and even the gaming crew.

Now BSE Global is touting "tremendous synergy between our two companies."

It's a sign of both the Nets' new value to sponsors and the growing value of the league: the Los Angeles Clippers just signed a (reportedly) $400 million, 23-year sponsorship deal for a non-naming rights partner. That's more than $17 million a year.

All of which points to the likelihood of some kind of deal to renegotiate, or exit, the 20-year Barclays naming rights agreement in Brooklyn, approximately $10 million a year, which is by now way under-market but has 11 more seasons to run.

The obligatory nod to social responsibility

As with new sponsorships this days, there's also a community service component, surely paid for by the sponsor, which puts a halo on the team and sponsor. From the press release:
The alliance will also extend into the community with Webull and the teams working together to implement impactful STEM programs that will benefit the underserved population in Brooklyn and beyond.
The announcement

BROOKLYN NETS AND NEW YORK LIBERTY FORM GLOBAL MULTI-YEAR PARTNERSHIP WITH WEBULL

SEPTEMBER 27, 2021 | BROOKLYN NETS

BROOKLYN – The Brooklyn Nets and New York Liberty have entered into a global multi-year agreement with Webull, an independent, self-directed broker dealer focused on zero-commission online trading and in-depth market data. As part of Webull’s first-ever sports partnership, the company will have international marketing rights to promote its alliance not only in the New York market, but also outside the U.S. through expansive marketing, advertising, and digital activations.

Additionally, Webull will become the official jersey patch partner for the Brooklyn Nets beginning with the 2021-22 NBA season. Webull will also be featured on the jerseys of the Liberty, the Long Island Nets of the NBA G League, and NetsGC, the NBA 2K League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets.

“I am very excited to announce Webull’s first sports partnership with the Brooklyn Nets and become the official game jersey partner,” said Anthony Denier, CEO of Webull, which is part of Webull Corporation. “There’s no better way to celebrate our company’s New York roots, and we are looking forward to collaborating on initiatives that give back to the Brooklyn community.”

“We are thrilled to introduce Webull to the world,” said John Abbamondi, CEO of BSE Global, the parent company of the Nets. “There is tremendous synergy between our two companies. Both are New York-based with a growing international presence and are focused on reaching a diverse demographic of tech-savvy, next-generation consumers and fans. We are looking forward to helping Webull connect with our millions of fans in communities across the globe.”

As the Official Online Brokerage of the Brooklyn Nets, Webull will receive digital signage at all Nets home games at Barclays Center and integration across the teams’ digital channels. The alliance will also extend into the community with Webull and the teams working together to implement impactful STEM programs that will benefit the underserved population in Brooklyn and beyond.

Webull, with its U.S. headquarters in New York City, is an easy-to-use, zero-commission brokerage and market data platform that is available to investors of all experience levels. In addition to providing powerful trading capabilities, Webull also offers educational resources for users to gain a deeper understanding of their investments. Recent product additions to the platform include multi-leg options trading, cryptocurrency trading, fractional shares, and a new Webull 7.0 interface for mobile users. The Webull app is accessible via phone, tablet or desktop computer. The company continues to expand its global reach with offices in six international cities and by serving its customers with market data from 31 countries.

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