Mr. Beast, Charlotte Hornets Agree to Jersey Patch Sponsorship Deal

Mr. Beast, Charlotte Hornets Agree to Jersey Patch Sponsorship Deal article feature image
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Picture from the Charlotte Hornets.

There have been plenty of NBA teams that have announced their jersey patches, but perhaps none will get the attention that Monday's announcement will receive. That's because the Charlotte Hornets have sold their uniform patch to Mr. Beast's confectionery business, Feastables.

The man behind the business is Jimmy Donaldson, a 25-year-old who is the most popular YouTuber in the world. He shoots many of his videos from his 60,000 square foot studio compound in Greenville, North Carolina, 250 miles east of Charlotte.

To understand Mr. Beast's power, consider this: He has 188 million subscribers on his YouTube channel, nearly 10 times that of the NBA.

His videos on the platform have done more than 30 billion impressions.

He has 41.8 million Instagram followers, 19 times the following of the Hornets on that platform.

He has 24 million followers on Twitter, double the following of the Los Angeles Lakers, the most followed NBA team.

He was named one of Time Magazine's 100 "Most Influential People" of 2023 and Forbes' named him the No. 1 creator, estimating he is currently pulling in $54 million a year.

"Our new ownership handed us the keys and told us to be creative and set a new standard," said Jacob Gallagher, chief revenue officer for Hornets. "We thought we found that in Mr. Beast, a local North Carolina guy who helps us flip the script and turn heads."

Terms were not disclosed, but Eric Smallwood of sponsorship evaluation company Apex Marketing Group says the deal is worth $16.9 million a year in equivalent advertising to Mr. Beast.

Mr. Beast launched the Feastables line in 2022 after his talent manager Reed Duchscher told him it was the 50th anniversary of Willy Wonka. Donaldson was then motivated to launch a line of candy bars — with golden tickets of course — with the final prize an entire chocolate factory that was modeled after Wonka's. Yes, it even included a chocolate river.

Duchscher, now the CEO of Feastables, says the private company doesn't release financials, but it did sell four million bars in its first four months. Their chocolate bars are currently in all Walmarts, Albertsons and Safeways in the United States and, in 2024, they'll be in Costcos, CVS stores and Walgreens.

"We've been talking to the Hornets for four months," Duchscher said. "We were very interested because it would allow us to be the first creator-led brand to do a deal like this. And we're especially high on the NBA because it's the league that is the most digitally native."

While every team thus far has limited brand patches to in-arena stores and official shops, Gallagher says he's excited to see the greater growth in Hornets jersey sales with the Feastables patch because of the influential power of Mr. Beast.

Duchscher agreed.

"No offense to the Warriors, but I don't think anyone wants a jersey with Rakuten on it," he said. "People are going to want the jersey with our Feastables logo."

Creators getting a shirt sponsorship isn't completely unprecedented. This fall, the men who form Dude Perfect got their logo on the junior and academy squad shirts of Burnley, which plays in the Premier League. Unlike Donaldson, Dude Perfect bought into the ownership group, too.

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