General Electric could be out as the sponsor of the Boston Celtics. Who could be a good replacement??
Since 2017, the Boston Celtics have dawned the General Electric logo on the shoulder of their jerseys and with the history of the company having suchstrong roots in Massachusetts, it seemed like a perfect fit. However, it appears that as we head closer to the start of the 2020 NBA season, the Celtics are looking to make another change.
The Celtics signed a jersey endorsement contract with General Electric back in 2017. Photo via Bill Sikes
As reported initially by Corey Leff of the Sports Business Journal, Boston is in search of a replacement sponsor for GE in the future, with the possibility of things changing as soon as this upcoming season. The news came in the light of the Dallas Mavericks ending their deal with Texas shopping app 5miles in favor of "a blue-chip name on their jersey."
The foundation of General Electric and their history in Massachusetts are both very interesting topics. In the late 19th century, two competing electric companies found themselves stuck as they looked to expand without using each other's patents and technology.
The first was Thomas Edison's company entitled Edison's General Electric Company, which was based in Menlo Port New Jersey. The second had its origins in Lynn, Massachusets as the Thompson-Houston Company, who was becoming immensely popular under Charles A. Coffin. In 1892, the two companies merged into the General Electric Company as it is known today and has been a dominating name in technology and the electronics industry ever since.
But the move has not gone well for the company on many accounts, and this could play a role in the Celtics' current decision to start looking for a new sponsor in the post-Kyrie Irving era.
The icing on the disaster cake that was GE's relocation to Boston. A fraction of the jobs promised, a canceled building project, forced to return more than half the initial $145 million in public subsidies and will go down as the official sponsor of The Kyrie Era. https://t.co/bpQXhjd47U
While it is unclear what the Celtics will be doing as we head into next season it would seem really odd to me if they changed up the jersey sponsor now. Many of Boston's newest acquisitions such as Kemba Walker, Enes Kanter, and their new rookie group have done various photoshoots dawning the GE logo patch, indicating that they are preparing for more of the same next season.
Though nothing is impossible, it seems more likely that the Celtics make a change in the 2021 season rather than next year which starts less than a couple of months from now.
Either way, the Celtics will have a fresh new look at some point in the future. The question is, who will they choose???
According to the same Sports Business Journal article, said sponsorship for any NBA team could cost within the $12 million to $20 million range and there is a pretty good chance that the price could go up by almost 50% for some of the lower market teams by 2021. Obviously, with a price tag like this only certain brands are capable of reaching that agreement. That being said, let's take a look at who could fill the role as the official jersey sponsor of the Boston Celtics in the future if they could pick anyone they want.
Just as a disclaimer and for the sake of conversation, I'm limiting these options to Boston based companies to try and keep the trend started by the Celtics' and GE going.
Coffee cup logo for Dunkin' that could be something similar to a Celtics' uniform sponsor logo. Image via Dunkin' brands.
Easily the most popular candidate on social media in the wake of the GE news is Dunkin', or as New Englanders have and always will call it Dunkin' Donuts.
Founded in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1950 by Bill Rosenberg, Dunkin' has grown to be one of the biggest names in the coffee company industry. After becoming a franchise in 1955, the company has grown to reach over 46 countries in the world with 12,400 locations, serving approximately 2 billion cups of coffee a year.
With Dunkin' Donuts having been one of the most popular restaurant chains in New England for years now, it may come as no surprise that they already have strong ties with Boston's major sports teams, having signed endorsement deals with all four teams in the past.
They may have even stronger connections with other teams such as the Red Sox, the Patriots, and the Bruins. They had a big endorsement contract with former Red Sox superstar slugger David Ortiz as well as former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. And if you watched literally a second of any Bruins game last year, you were bound to see this commercial starring Boston Bruin David Pastrnak.
From a business standpoint, this deal certainly makes sense on both sides. The Celtics' would get an already popular New England brand name in which people associate with on a daily basis, and Dunkin' would get to grow their already strong relationship with Boston sports to a whole other level. Surely, this is the fan-favorite sponsor moving forward in the post-GE era.
Timberland logo that could be featured on the Celtics' uniforms if a sponsorship deal was made between the two. Logo via the VF corporation.
Owned by the VF Corporation, Timberland was founded in 1973 by a family of Bostonians, the Swartz. Originally known as the Abington Shoe Company located in Abington, Massachusetts, the brand grew into its own by the early '70s when it popularized the famed "Original Yellow Boot" which was said to be crafted for "hard-working New Englanders."
According to Timberland themselves, the boot was created with "form, function, and craftsmanship" in mind "rather than the lure of fashion runways." To me, this is the exact same mindset that the most successful Celtics' teams have had in recent years, putting grit and hard work in favor of success rather than style and flashy play.
Going into the post-Kyrie era as underdogs, this is how Celtics teams will have to play in order to reach their fullest potential and a deal with Timberland could symbolize that perfectly. Plus, I can already see the now famed Timberland tree logo sliding perfectly into the spot of GE.
Converse's current logo that could go onto a Celtics' uniform if the two made a deal in the future. Logo via NIKE, INC.
If you have ever driven towards the TD Garden it is hard not to notice the giant Converse building across the Zakim bridge. That is the Converse headquarters conveniently located across the street from where the Boston Celtics play.
Founded in Malden, Massachusetts in the year of 1980, Converse built its brand off of the famous "Converse All-Stars," now better known as "Chuck Taylors."
In the 70s and 80s, their shoes were worn by NBA Hall of Famers such as Magic Johnson, Isaiah Thomas, and Julius "Dr. J" Irving as well as Celtics' legends Kevin McHale and Larry Bird. As a result, they were heavily marketed and sold as THE shoe of basketball.
In the early 2000s, Nike bought Converse for around $305 million and they have remained in ownership ever since. However, I don't think this would be a problem in terms of the Celtics' jersey sponsorship as Nike has an apparel deal with the NBA until the 2025-2026 NBA season, which includes their uniforms.
Though not the same exact situation, Nike allows for the Charlotte Hornets to brand their uniforms with the Jordan logo, another one of their branches. Although this has more to do with the fact that Michael Jordan owns the Hornets franchise, I'm sure Nike would not have a problem with more advertisement for affiliated brands in the NBA.
For comparison, it would certainly be harder for another Boston based shoe company such as New Balance to sponsor the Celtics as they are a direct competitor of Nike in the sporting equipment industry.
If it did happen, it would certainly be cool for Converse to make a big name return to the NBA on a big market team such as the Boston Celtics. And with their affiliation with Nike, it might even be easier to get some better alternate uniforms in the mix for the Celtics' moving forward.
We don't really know when or even if this sponsorship change will officially come for the Celtics, but I personally feel any of these options would be great fits for the most historic franchise in the NBA for various reasons. If we're lucky, we may even see a change in our success levels in the post-GE era, but that might just be a little superstitious on my part.
So, which one of these options do you think would be the best fit for the Celtics moving forward??? Is there anyone I forgot??? Or are there any brands away from the Boston area that you think would be a more appropriate fit??? Let me know in the comment section down below.