When you think of your favorite NBA team, you immediately think of its jersey. The distinct team colors, the numbers of your favorite players. The jersey represents the team’s identity. But thanks to teams like the Utah Jazz, the jersey will become more than just a symbol or tool for identification. It’s quickly becoming a high-profile way to make a difference.
The Utah Jazz just inked a deal with technology company Qualtrics as part of the NBA’s patch program. The program allows third-party companies to purchase space on a team’s jersey, with the purpose of promoting a company or charity. The space is a 2.5 x 2.5-inch patch that will be placed on the front of every player’s jersey. The deal with Qualtrics is worth a reported $4 million.
Though every company could surely use the highly visible promotion, Qualtrics is using the sponsorship deal to promote its charity arm, 5 For The Fight. The goal of the charity is to get every person to donate $5 to cancer research, and it’s the fifth patch deal to take place since the NBA started the pilot program. Companies like StubHub, Goodyear and Nike have also come onboard with other NBA teams.
If you’re not familiar with Qualtrics, the company has a story worth considering. It was founded back in 2002 by Scott Smith. Back then, the BYU professor was recovering from a throat cancer battle and started commissioning his students to create online survey software. His sons saw the potential in the business and helped him launch. By 2014, the company had reached unicorn status, valued at more than $1 billion.
Qualtrics is bringing that same momentum to its fight against cancer. 5 For The Fight raised $1 million in 2016, and the company hopes to raise $50 million over the course of 5 years.
It seems Qualtrics’ partnership with the Utah Jazz might be cancer fundraising’s most innovative and beneficial move yet.