- Kim Kardashian’s shapewear brand Skims is the new official underwear partner of the NBA, WNBA and USA Basketball, according to a release sent to Retail Dive.
- While complete details of the NBA partnership are still unknown, the new relationship will “come to life” at future marquee events, including the NBA All-Star Game and the NBA In-Season Tournament, per the release. The brand will receive media exposure through on-court virtual signage during NBA and WNBA national broadcasts as well as on the leagues' official social and digital platforms.
- Financial terms of the Skims multiyear partnership with the NBA were not disclosed. The league has significantly increased its revenues due to various sponsorships that have proliferated in the last five years. NBA sponsorship revenue grew by over $100 million year over year reaching $1.4 billion in the 2022/23 season, according to SponsorUnited.
The partnership between Skims and the NBA comes as the shapewear brand continues its expansion.
“Together, Skims and the NBA will connect people of all backgrounds through fashion, sport, and talent, and I look forward to seeing the partnership thrive,” Kardashian said in a statement.
Skims joins a growing list prominent brands that sponsor the NBA in different ways. They include Google, Microsoft, Rakuten, SAP, Wilson and Nike.
"Skims has quickly become one of our most culturally-influential brands," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "We look forward to bringing NBA fans and Skims users unique experiences, new offerings and premium products through our partnership."
A number of fashion brands have recently collaborated with sports entities, and the segment is growing.
“We continue to see fashion brands shift focus away from just selling ‘stuff’ to building a lifestyle,” Kristen Classi-Zummo, apparel industry analyst at Circana, said in an email to Retail Dive. “One impactful avenue to achieve this is through collaborations with the sports world. Brands like Ralph Lauren, Boss and Tommy Hilfiger are getting in on the action, aligning themselves with teams and leagues that their consumers are passionate about. With soccer’s growing popularity in the U.S. and the upcoming 2024 Olympics sponsored by LVMH, it’s clear that we are just getting started with these exciting partnerships.”
The NBA partnership comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that Skims is launching a men’s collection of briefs, boxers, tanks and T-shirts. As part of the launch campaign, the brand signed several well-known athletes to endorsement deals including NFL top Defensive Player Nick Bosa, NBA All-Star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and international soccer star Neymar Jr.
In launching a men’s underwear collection, Skims has entered a market that grew by 2% over the past 12 months and is now a $5.7 billion business in the U.S., per Circana. Sales of shapewear increased by 6% during the same period.
Launched in 2019 as a shapewear brand for women of all sizes, Skims has expanded into other categories like clothing and loungewear. The company expects to reach $750 million in net sales for 2023, up from $500 million in 2022.
Skims this past July reached a $4 billion valuation after closing on a Series C funding round that raised $270 million. The funding is earmarked for use in product innovation, category expansion and physical retail.