Holy cow. A well-heeled analytics company and a professional sports team just turned down both exposure and money in favor of a significant charitable contribution because it was “the right thing to do.”
Don’t tell, well, just about every other professional sports team.
For the second time this season, the Utah Jazz have bucked both an NBA and pro sports trend by thinking community and value-first in the face of what could have been a deluge of deals meant to line pockets. Just after announcing that the basketball team would stay in Salt Lake City for as long as there will be a Salt Lake City (nearly two centuries and counting), the Utah Jazz have decided to flip their potential jersey patch ad revenue into charitable coffers.
Instead of putting their own logo on the Jazz’s uniform, the Utah-based data company Qualtrics will instead participate in what the team is calling a “first of its kind” partnership. From a press release:
Rather than placing the company’s logo on the jersey for the 2017-2018 season, Qualtrics is sponsoring the patch in the name of its charity — 5 For The Fight — to raise funds to accelerate the pace of innovative cancer research.
The goal is to raise $50 million. From the announcement:
The 5 For The Fight logo will be placed on all Jazz game uniforms, calling attention to a global campaign that invites everyone to donate $5 to cancer research. Qualtrics will sponsor the patch and the Utah Jazz will integrate the groundbreaking effort to support cancer research into other highly visible Jazz platforms such as in-game signage and activities, digital and social media content, and arena signage and broadcasting.
“This is the right thing to do,” Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith said. “As much as I would love to put Qualtrics on it, this idea of raising $50 million for cancer research was something we couldn’t stop thinking about it. The Jazz were open to our ideas and how we wanted to use the patch.”
Just a month after moving to ensure the Jazz’s permanence in Utah, team owner Gail Miller commented on the new arrangement:
“The generosity of Qualtrics in sponsoring the jersey patch on our uniforms is unprecedented. Cancer has impacted innumerable people in our community and we are pleased to partner with them to bring attention to this worthy cause.”
Unlike the Brooklyn Nets (ugh), Boston Celtics (just, awful), Philadelphia 76ers (why) and Sacramento Kings (stupid), the Jazz will not be raking in the rewards typically expected from turning humans into billboards.
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