Home Business Barclays lands New York Liberty jersey patch deal as WNBA popularity grows

Barclays lands New York Liberty jersey patch deal as WNBA popularity grows

Barclays lands New York Liberty jersey patch deal as WNBA popularity grows


Sabrina Ionescu of the New York Liberty participates in the three-point challenge during the State Farm All-Star Saturday Night at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Feb. 17, 2024.

Stacy Revere | Getty Images

Barclays is the latest big corporation to align itself with the Women’s National Basketball Association, signing a multiyear deal with the New York Liberty that will see the bank’s logo appear on the team’s jersey.

The multiyear deal, which the Liberty described as one of the largest injections of sponsorship capital in the team’s 28-year history, builds upon Barclays’ naming rights deal for the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and its sponsorship of the National Basketball Association’s Brooklyn Nets.

All three entities are owned by Alibaba co-founder Joe Tsai and his wife Clara, who acquired the Liberty in 2019 from Madison Square Garden and moved the team to Brooklyn permanently in 2021.

The popularity of the Liberty has steadily grown since moving to Brooklyn, aided by an influx of talent on the court such as Sabrina Ionescu and Breanna Stewart. Last season, the Liberty set a new WNBA attendance record with 17,143 fans attending game three of the WNBA Finals.

New York Liberty CEO Keia Clarke, who earlier this year was named to the Tech Zone Daily Changemakers list, said the team has seen an influx of interest from corporate partners. Last year, the team’s partner roster more than doubled, with sponsorship revenue increasing 35%. Furthermore, 12 of the team’s new partners last season had never partnered with a WNBA team.

“We’ve continued to engage in discussions with brands looking to activate in the women’s sports space, showcasing a growing interest in not just the Liberty, but the WNBA and women’s sports more broadly,” Clarke said. “As we embark on our highly anticipated 2024 season and continued pursuit of our first-ever WNBA championship, we are excited to explore authentic opportunities with brands looking to inspire and engage with the next generation of women’s sports fans, and our new partnership with Barclays is a great example of that.”

Tech Zone Daily's Julia Boorstin on TODAY with New York Liberty CEO Keia Clarke

Clarke, now in her 14th season with the team and fifth as CEO, said this deal “is another example of how women’s sports are capturing the hearts and minds of sports fans around the world.”

For Barclays, the deal with the Liberty expands on its existing presence in women’s sports sponsorship. The bank is the title sponsor of the top two levels of women’s professional soccer in the U.K., which is, to date, the largest investment by a brand into women’s sports in that country.

The new Liberty patch will appear on the left shoulder of the team’s jersey, where a logo for Hospital for Special Surgery has been since 2019. The team also has a partnership with electronic trading platform Webull that sees its logo appear on the bottom half of its jersey.

The deal also builds on the growing momentum around the WNBA, which will begin its 28th season in May. Under Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, who is also named to this year’s Tech Zone Daily Changemakers list, the league has added new sponsors such as the Kim Kardashian-led shapewear brand Skims, landed a new expansion team in the┬áSan Francisco Bay Area owned by the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and is currently working on a new media rights deal, all while setting new records in attendance, revenue and viewership.

Caitlin Clark, the NCAA Division I all-time leading scorer who is also regarded as one of the greatest players in college basketball history, will be drafted into the league in April, adding another boost entering this season.

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