The Milwaukee Bucks will announce Thursday that they have signed a jersey advertisement patch deal with motorcycle manufacturer Harley-Davidson.
The brand's iconic orange, white and black logo will appear on the team's white, green and black jerseys. Terms were not disclosed.
"When we first saw how it looked, we thought it was just so authentic and natural," said Anoop Prakash, Harley-Davidson's director of United States marketing. "Two brands with heritage in Milwaukee, built on grit and Midwestern values, who brought their product to the world and succeeded."
Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee, and the company's corporate headquarters are located there.
The motorcycle brand has been a longtime Bucks sponsor, with reserved parking outside the Bradley Center for Harley owners and a fourth quarter "Rev up" with the team's mascot, Bango. But the challenge to find the next group of riders had the company looking to do more.
"There's a stereotype to Harley riders, but the reality is, it's actually a very diverse group," said Matt Pazaras, the Bucks' senior vice president of business development and strategy. "What they're looking for to refresh their brand fits nicely into the demographic we provide."
Prakash said it's an easier pitch to get fans on their first Harley than it was a decade ago, with the least expensive bike at $7,000 and nine models under $12,000.
But don't expect to see Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo sign an endorsement deal with Harley and get a free bike. Riding a motorcycle is prohibited in NBA contracts, something neither side said is an impediment to the marketing agreement.
The new deal will allow Harley to brand a fan area and will include an extra pregame ride from Bango. Jerseys with the Harley logo will be available inside the arena.
"We think there will be Harley fans who will become Bucks fans and Bucks fans who become Harley fans," Pazaras said.
With the deal, the Bucks become the 12th NBA team to have sold a corporate logo on its jerseys. The three-year pilot program begins next season when the league's new deal with Nike starts. http://www.espn.com/espn/print?id=20301638&type=HeadlineNews&imagesPrint...