Oct 2, 2023 - Economy

Charlotte Hornets sign MrBeast's "Feastables" as official jersey patch partner

Image courtesy of Feastables

The Charlotte Hornets on Monday said that Feastables, the snack company created by popular YouTube star MrBeast, will be its official jersey patch partner.

Why it matters: The deal represents one of the biggest commercial partnerships brokered by the Hornets since Michael Jordan sold his majority stake in the team to a private investment group led by Hornets minority owner Gabe Plotkin and Atlanta Hawks minority owner Rick Schnall in June.

  • The brand's logo exclusive will gain real estate on all Hornets uniforms.
  • "I think the new ownership, with Rick and Gabe, has really pushed us to be creative and develop new standards for what our partnerships should look like," said Jacob Gallagher, chief revenue officer for The Hornets.
  • "They really want us to push the envelope," he added.

Details: As part of the deal, Feastables’ logo will appear on Hornets uniforms, including those for its sister teams, like the the Greensboro Swarm, an NBA G League team, and the Hornets Venom GT, an NBA 2K League esports team.

  • It will appear on the virtual uniforms for Hornets Venom GT, in addition to their physical jerseys.
  • Feastables will also become an official partner of the Greensboro Swarm and Hornets Venom GT.
  • The food company's branding will appear on the media backdrops for all Hornets press conferences and interviews. In a statement, the Hornets said the two brands "will also collaborate on digital media, content and marketing opportunities."
  • Terms of the deal, including its length, were not disclosed.

Between the lines: Feastables is using the deal announcement to introduce an updated brand design.

  • The company, which is known primarily for selling chocolate "MrBeast Bars," was launched in 2022 via a partnership between MrBeast and the venture arm of Night Media, a talent management company.
  • Reed Duchscher, founder and CEO of Night Media, said Feastables will be soon be introducing new products with rebranded logo.
  • "We're stepping a little bit outside the box," Duchscher said, referring to the campaign. Until now, Feastables has predominantly been marketed on YouTube and on social media.

Be smart: The partnership is especially notable, given that MrBeast, whose formal name is Jimmy Donaldson, is a North Carolina native.

  • The YouTube star turned entrepreneur is one of the most popular YouTube personalities in the world.
  • In recent years, MrBeast has used his massive platform to expand into food, consumer goods and merchandise sales.
  • Speaking of MrBeast and Feastables, Gallagher said, "If he wants to take on Hershey's, we want to be the platform to help him do that."

The big picture: The deal represents a new era for the Hornets, and the NBA broadly, as the team and league push further into digital innovation.

  • The Hornets became an early adopter of NFTs in 2021. They launched their esports team, the Hornets Venom GT, as part of the NBA 2K League in 2020.

Of note: Feastables replaces Charlotte-based online loan marketplace LendingTree, the Hornets' jersey patch sponsor since 2017. The sponsorship was extended for an additional three years in 2020, and it was worth a reported $5 million a year.

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