Farmers Insurance Group has signed a multi-year agreement to put its corporate logo on the jerseys of the Los Angeles Sparks women's professional basketball team.
The Los Angeles insurer, a unit of Swiss conglomerate Zurich Financial Services, will spend more than $1 million per year for the rights.
Team President Kristin Bernet said the insurer signed on as a team sponsor because of the Sparks' willingness to allow the corporate logo on the uniform.
"They are a new partner who signed on because of this unique opportunity for jersey rights," Bernert said.
American professional sports teams have shunned away from putting corporate logos prominently on jerseys, a common practice in Europe where soccer and basketball teams frequently sell the space to corporate sponsors.
In the United States, Major League Soccer teams have added corporate logos and the Sparks are the second WNBA team to announce a logo deal heading into the 2009 season.
In addition to the jersey and other player apparel, the insurer's logo will be displayed at Staples Center signage and at community events held by the Sparks.
The team opens its season at home against the Detroit Shock on Saturday, June 6.
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