It’s a first for a Crossing Streams podcast guest— this guy is going places: Sixers (and Devils) CEO Scott O’Neil will ring the opening bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite on Monday. The ceremonial bell ringing will be done as the Sixers “formally tip-off their new Patriot Partners platform along with the corporate partners who comprise its inaugural class: partypoker, DraftKings, StubHub and the Rothman Institute at Jefferson.”
The Sixers, by partnering with gambling, daily fantasy, not paying full price for tickets, and joint pain, are showcasing their “commitment to taking intelligent risks and bucking trends as we work daily toward becoming a world-class organization,” according to O’Neil. If jersey ads come in the next few years, expect the Sixers to wear the logo of one of these guys.
Chief Revenue Officer Christopher Heck — whom you only hear from in situations like this — said:
“In less than two years, we have transformed our partnerships from traditional sponsorships to innovative, collaborative efforts among powerhouse brands. These five partners represent the kind of revolutionary platforms and opportunities that define our new business, and that we will continue to create for seasons to come.”
There’s really something to be said for the Sixers here. A couple of years ago (and even now, a little bit) partnering with online gambling, daily fantasy and, to a lesser extent, a ticket resale site would’ve been unheard of. And that’s before we talk about the StubHub logo on the stanchions and the team’s website being fully “presented by” DraftKings. These are smart deals that actively push the Sixers into the next, more progressive NBA era (after the Sixers partnered with DraftKings, so did the Rockets and Celtics, and the league partnered with rival Fan Duel). Combining the efforts of their sponsors for greater reach is also unique (and we guarantee you the sort of thing that allows the Sixers to be the only team for which we get tips from equity researchers). For all the “these are smart businessmen” fear that drives some people to think Joshua Harris and Co. will sell the team for a huge profit in a few years, it’s moves like these that reinforce the notion that the Sixers are doing things differently from top to bottom, and that should the ownership group be in it for the long haul, there’s little doubt they will oversee a successful organization– both on and off the court.