The Morning Column: September 21, 2021
The Lakers have a new jersey patch sponsor after signing a five-year deal worth over $100 million with Bibigo, a Korean food brand that specializes in dumplings, sauces, and frozen meals.
☀️ Good morning on a beautiful Tuesday and welcome to The Morning Column. Please subscribe if you haven’t done so already. It will be delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. To avoid the email ending up in your spam, social or promotion folder, please add email@example.com to your contacts. You can also email me there as well.
OK, let’s get to it!
1. 🏀 A new jersey patch sponsor for the Lakers
When the Los Angeles Lakers take the court this season, they will do so wearing a new jersey patch after signing their first global marketing deal with Bibigo, a Korean food brand created by CJ CheilJedang, a global lifestyle company.
The five-year deal is worth over $20 million per year, making it the most lucrative jersey patch deal in the NBA. The Warriors’ deal with Japanese tech company Rakuten was the highest at $20 million per season. The Lakers’ previous jersey patch deal with e-commerce platform Wish paid the team between $12 million to $14 million annually.
Lakers owner Jeanie Buss and Lakers president of business operations Tim Harris presented Wookho Kyeong, chief marketing officer of CJ CheilJedang, with a No. 18 Lakers jersey with the Bibigo patch Monday to commemorate the deal, which they hope will result in the Lakers winning the franchise’s 18th championship this season.
After the announcement, Harris and Kyeong toasted champagne at an outdoor party held at the Lakers’ training center in El Segundo where Laker Girls sported the new jerseys and Bibigo food items such as dumplings, fried rice and crunchy chicken were passed out to attendees. It was the first event with guests and media held at the team’s headquarters since the start of the pandemic over 18 months ago.
“The Lakers are a cultural icon, especially for a younger generation,” Kyeong said. “And I truly believe that food and sports have a magic power to bring people together. We’re ready to make history.”
Bibigo will not only be the jersey patch sponsor for the Lakers but will also have its logo as part of the courtside branding over the next five years at Staples Center.
“When we sit down and consider who we might work with on the patch, it's not just deal points, it's not just economics, it's not just what can we offer, but it's what will Laker fans think,” Harris said. “If we don't believe that Laker fans will be OK with it, we won’t do it. Because you're literally putting the name of a brand over the heart of a Laker. You’re sewing the brand into the fabric of their favorite team over the heart of a player, there cannot be anything more meaningful. And if we didn't believe that Laker fans would embrace Bibigo the way we would, we would not have done the deal and Wookho knows that. It was imperative that we felt that this brand is a brand that Laker fans will embrace.”
2. 🏀 JJ Redick retires
JJ Redick is retiring from the NBA after 15 seasons. The 37-year-old played for six NBA teams after being selected No. 11 in the 2006 NBA draft by the Orlando Magic. He was a key member of the “Lob City” Clippers from 2013 to 2017 before finishing his career with the Philadelphia 76ers, New Orleans Pelicans and Dallas Mavericks.
“The last 30 years of basketball have been beyond my wildest dreams,” Redick said Tuesday on his podcast. “I never could have imagined that I would have played basketball for this long. After years of youth leagues, AAU, high school basketball, four years at Duke and 15 years in the NBA, I'm retiring from the game that I love so much."
3. 🎶 Song of the Day
How could you not listen to Earth, Wind & Fire’s “September” today?
“Do you remember, 21st night of September?”
4. 📸 Photo of the Day
5. 💵 Odds and Ends Powered by Bovada
Here are some odds on Bovada if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
6. 📆 Sept. 21, 1997: Mike Piazza homers out of Dodger Stadium
On this day 24 years ago, Mike Piazza became just the second player to ever hit a home run out of Dodger Stadium. Piazza’s 420-foot blast was the third longest ever at Dodger Stadium at the time and came during a season where Piazza would have 40 home runs and 124 RBI. The home run hit the top of the bleachers in the Left Field Pavilion before landing in the parking lot behind it.
7. 🎂 Happy Birthday Bruce Arena
Happy birthday to Bruce Arena. The former LA Galaxy manager and current New England Revolution manager is turning 70 years old today. Arena was the longest-serving head coach in U.S. soccer history from 1998 to 2002 and led Team USA to the quarterfinals of the 2002 World Cup. Arena led the LA Galaxy to three MLS Cups, two Supporters’ Shields and four Western Conference titles from 2008 to 2016.
8. 🎟 Ticket Time Powered by StubHub
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game:
⚾️ Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels – $6
9. 📺 On The Air
⚾️ 5:30 p.m. – Los Angeles Dodgers at Colorado Rockies – SportsNet LA
⚾️ 6:30 p.m. – Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels – Bally Sports West
10. 📻 The Arash Markazi Show
On Monday’s show we recapped a crazy football weekend in L.A. where USC and the Rams won and UCLA and the Chargers lost.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show on The Mightier 1090 Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., following The Rich Eisen Show. The Mightier 1090 has the second strongest radio signal in North America and can be heard from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies.” You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
And please click below to subscribe to The Morning Column at Substack. Please also consider supporting my colleagues at Substack (and former colleagues at ESPN and SI): Marc Stein, Henry Abbott, Chad Ford and Ethan Strauss on the NBA, Molly Knight and Joe Posnanski on MLB, Ariel Helwani on MMA, Dan Rafael on boxing, Grant Wahl and Leander Schaerlaeckens on soccer, Chris Peters on the NHL and Peter Bodo on tennis.
That’s it for today. Talk to you tomorrow!