Mark Cuban shook his head no before the question had even been fully asked.
No, the explosive SI.com report on the Dallas Mavericks’ hostile workplace environment last month, did not hinder the organization’s ability to find a jersey patch partner.
Dallas-based online and app marketplace company, 5miles, and the Mavericks announced a three-year partnership on Tuesday for the orange 5miles logo to be placed on jerseys. The logos will appear for the first time during tonight's game vs. the Denver Nuggets and continue through the 2019-20 season.
5miles raved about the partnership with the Mavericks and having forward Harrison Barnes serve as one of its spokespersons. They downplayed any sort of negative publicity that might come by associating itself with the Mavericks during this tumultuous time.
“Honestly, whatever information we’ve learned is through the medias as well,” 5miles CFO Garwin Chan said. “I think some of these incidents that were mentioned were definitely before our time and probably before a lot of people’s times within the Mavericks organization.
“What we are comfortable with is, based on our interaction and our experience working with Mark and his team, they’ve been nothing but a world-class organization so far. So from everything that I understand, also assurances that the Mavericks organization has given to us, they’re doing everything they can do to investigate exactly what happened and also put in place best practices. And we’re completely supportive of them.”
The bombshell report on SI.com didn’t deter 5miles, and Cuban made it clear that no prospective companies withdrew from consideration once the report surfaced. The investigation painted a “misogynistic” culture of some male employees. It alleged that former CEO Terdema Ussery was a serial sexual harasser and former Mavs.com writer Earl K. Sneed had multiple domestic violence incidents, including one with a former co-worker whom he dated.
The Mavs and 5miles negotiated the deal for about six to nine months, Mavs executive vice president of sponsorships George Killebrew said.
The three-year agreement between them is the longest terms allowed under current NBA rules. The two sides have options to extend the agreement, if the league approves. Financial terms were not disclosed.
A similar agreement between the Los Angeles Clippers and Austin-based dating app Bumble is reportedly for three years and $20 million.
Cuban and the Mavericks become the 21st NBA team to reach a jersey patch agreement. Cuban said they had multiple companies interested and the team wanted to ensure it found the right "partner” for the deal, not just a company willing to write a paycheck. Mavericks fans who download the 5miles app will receive two free tickets to a future home game.
“We’re lucky to partner with a locally-based company that is innovative and growing exponentially,” Cuban said.
5miles is a Craigslist-esque business that is a free local marketplace app/ website that allows users to buy and sell second-hand items and services. It’s also a company at the forefront of using and accepting cryptocurrency, something Cuban has said fans will soon be able to use to buy tickets and merchandise from the team.
Cuban is excited about the partnership with 5miles and joins the wave of NBA teams to land jersey patch sponsors. But he doesn’t envision this extending past a single sponsor space. In other words, don’t expect NBA uniforms to begin looking like a NASCAR car with decals covering every inch, or a professional golfer with multiple sponsors on hats and shirts.
“I don’t expect that to happen,” Cuban said. “I think it would diminish the value of our partnerships.”