BOSTON — The Boston Celtics and GE today announced a multi-year partnership in which the world’s leading digital industrial company will become the team’s exclusive Data and Analytics Partner. GE, which moved its global headquarters to Boston in 2016, will receive a number of marketing assets, including the first jersey patch partnership in the team’s history, beginning in the 2017-18 season.
A key component of the relationship will center around GE’s ability to provide the 17-time NBA Champions with its best-in-class expertise, products and insights across data science, medical equipment, and lighting solutions. Terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
The Celtics will seek to leverage GE’s expertise in a variety of areas, including player performance, injury prevention, and business optimization. The parties will work closely to integrate GE’s technology into the team’s basketball facilities, particularly as it relates to the Celtics’ state-of-the-art Auerbach Center at New Balance Headquarters, scheduled to open in 2018.
The GE patch will feature the company’s iconic logo in team colors, and appear on the front left shoulder of game jerseys beginning in the 2017-18 season. Jersey sponsorships were approved as part of a three-year pilot program by the NBA Board of Governors in April 2016.
In announcing the partnership, Celtics president Rich Gotham said, “GE will be woven into the fabric of the Boston Celtics both literally and figuratively. Their leadership in innovation, analytics, and technology will help us to be as competitive as we can be in everything from optimizing our facilities and equipment to player performance. Simply put, GE will make us a better and smarter basketball team and organization.”
“GE and the Boston Celtics both have rich histories of tradition and innovation and we’re thrilled to bring these two iconic brands together in a way that will drive further success for the team and pride in the City of Boston,” said GE Chief Marketing Officer Linda Boff. “The Celtics will become another key ally in GE’s mission to help make Boston an epicenter of tech innovation.”
The two Boston based organizations will collaborate on a series of community initiatives as part of their partnership. GE has already committed $50 million to the City and surrounding areas to improve STEM education in Boston Public Schools, improve community health care, and drive future skills development in diverse populations. The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation extends the reach of the Celtics championship legacy into the community through programs that directly benefit children in need.
GE will also be integrated into highly visible team platforms, including:
GE’s partnership with the Boston Celtics adds to the company’s sports marketing portfolio, which includes partnerships with the International Olympic Committee and the United States Olympic Committee. In addition, GE Healthcare has an ongoing collaboration with the NBA to promote orthopedic and sports medicine research for the benefit of NBA players and the general public.
The Celtics partnered with WME | IMG’s Global Partnerships group on the jersey patch opportunity.
My immediate reaction:
I don't need to hear about all the good GE is doing for Boston or how this move is inevitable throughout the entire NBA.
I still despise this move.
The Boston Celtics uniforms are one of the most iconic and classic uniforms throughout all of sports. They're like the Yankees or Packers in the sense that they really haven't changed in like 60 years.
They didn't even add an alternate jersey until the 2005-06 season. The Celtics held out longer than any other franchise in the NBA to add a 3rd jersey. Mainly because of the history of the Celtics uniform. Now like everybody else in the NBA they have those hideous sleeved uniforms in their repertoire, but they still have the same classic white homes and green aways.
Now they're going to be a build board. I guess it could be worse at least they are making it match the color scheme, I just think this is a sad day for basketball.
Teams don't need to do this. They aren't starving, it's not the early 1980's where it looked liked the NBA was in serious trouble finically. They're doing just fine. But when there's another avenue to make money, they're gonna do it. That's how business works, at the end of the day it's all about the bottomline and with the chance for teams to cash in on selling ads on their uniforms owners aren't gonna care about history or legacy. That isn't what lines their pockets.
It's a day basketball fans knew was coming, and I expect more teams to make announcements of their upcoming sponsors in the next few weeks and months but I just really hate that the Celtics are doing this.
They aren't the Memphis Grizzlies or Minnesota Timberwolves. It's the fucking Boston Celtics. They don't need to stoop to this. Along with the Lakers they ARE the NBA. Make no mistake even though they both are legit title contenders they will always be the fabric of the league and the two most important franchises. You'd think maybe a team with that stature wouldn't need to sell out but obviously that's not the case.
The one thing I hope with this is that they don't have the sponsors on jerseys for sale. If you want to be a billboard on the court that's one thing, but fans shouldn't have to rock that shit in the stands. I'm sure in a few years this won't be a big deal but right now I'm pissed and more so just bummed out that the Celtics are doing this when they really don't NEED to.