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The Wish shopping app is paying more than $30 million to put its logo on Lakers jerseys

Betting on Showtime.

The new Los Angeles Lakers jerseys with sponsorship by Wish
The new Los Angeles Lakers jerseys with sponsorship by Wish
J Alexander Diaz/Los Angeles Lakers
Jason Del Rey has been a business journalist for 15 years and has covered Amazon, Walmart, and the e-commerce industry for the last decade. He was a senior correspondent at Vox.

First, the Wish shopping app made a splash by spending $100 million a year on Facebook ads.

Then it sponsored the high-profile Mayweather-McGregor boxing match.

Now, Wish is betting big on the return of the Showtime era to the Los Angeles Lakers.

The startup, which has quickly built one of the most popular shopping apps in the world, has signed a deal to place its logo on Los Angeles Lakers jerseys.

Wish is spending between $12 million and $14 million a year on the deal, according to the Sports Business Journal, which also gives it some sponsorship rights inside the Staples Center and the Lakers’ new training facility.

The Lakers have been terrible for the last four seasons, but they’re back in the spotlight this year thanks to the return of Magic Johnson as president of basketball operations and rookie phenom Lonzo Ball as their point guard. The renaissance is evidenced by the fact that 35 of the team’s 82 games will be nationally televised.

Wish started in San Francisco in 2011, and only launched its shopping app in 2013. But it has become popular in middle America and overseas for the virtual mall it has built, where small merchants sell everything from electronics to no-brand apparel at absolutely bargain-basement pricing.

The startup is currently raising new investment money at an $8 billion valuation, and is one of the only e-commerce startups of the last decade to be closely watched by Amazon, Alibaba and Walmart. Wish has raised more than $1 billion in investments up to now.

The sponsorship announcement comes about a week after another e-commerce company, Japan’s Rakuten, said it had bought sponsorship rights for the jerseys of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. Rakuten spent a reported $20 million a year on that deal in a bit of a head-scratcher for a company that has not made a big U.S. push with its main Rakuten shopping site.

This is the first year that the NBA has instituted jersey sponsorships.

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