The Miami Heat were founded in the 1988-89 season of the NBA as an expansion team. They have gone on to win six Conference titles (2006, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2020) and three Championships (2006, 2012, 2013). Their most successful era started after drafting Dwayne Wade in 2003.
Since losing the 2020-21 Championship finals to their former superstar LeBron James’ LA Lakers, the Heat have been rebuilding the squad strength, having signed six-time All-Star Kyle Lowry in 2021. The effect has been immediate, as they recently finished as the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference in the regular season of 2021-22.
In 2021, the Miami Heat had an estimated value of US$2.3 billion. In this article, we take a look at their sponsors:
Official jersey-patch sponsor: Ultimate Kronos Group
Ultimate Kronos Group (UKG) has been with the Miami Heat for almost 30 years. It became their first uniform-patch sponsor in 2017; at that time the company was called ‘Ultimate Software Group’ before it merged with Kronos. UKG signed a three-year contract with Miami Heat in September 2017. The money involved in the deal was not disclosed, but both the company and the team pledged an additional US$1 million towards Hurricane Irma relief while announcing the deal.
Official stadium sponsor and cryptocurrency partner: FTX
FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange company, signed a 19-year, US$135m deal with the Heat to take over the naming rights of their stadium, formerly known as American Airlines Arena and now the FTX Arena. As part of the deal, FTX’s name is placed on the team’s online platform, promotions, contests and community engagement. FTX negotiated the deal under an agreement that Miami-Dade County would reserve the sponsorship money to help combat gun violence and poverty in the region.
Official sports drink partner: BioSteel
In October 2021, BioSteel, a hydration company, announced itself as the official sports drink of the Miami Heat. The deal includes hydrating the players throughout the season, bench setups at home games, promotions through digital and social media and a presence in the locker room, training centre and in-arena signage. BioSteel is already an official sports drink of several other NBA teams, including the Los Angeles Lakers, the Brooklyn Nets, the Dallas Mavericks, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Toronto Raptors.
Official car wash partner: El Car Wash
The Miami Heat welcomed El Car Wash as their official car wash partner in September 2021. During the whole 2021-2022 season, El Car Wash had a massive presence at the FTX Arena and on radio broadcasts. The Heat, together with El Car Wash, increased fan involvement in South Florida with multiple fan appreciation events.
Official restaurant partner: Pollo Tropical
Two 1988-founded Miami brands Pollo Tropical and the Miami Heat signed a three-year partnership deal covering in-game, in-market and community service events.
Official craft beer: Wynwood Brewery
Wynwood Brewing announced a three-year partnership to become the Official Craft Beer of the Miami Heat in December 2019. As part of the partnership, a range of Wynwood’s popular beers is made available at the FTX Arena.
Official hot sauce: Tabañero
The Miami Heat agreed a deal with hot sauce brand Tabañero in June 2018. As per the deal, all three Tabañero flavours are made available on condiment carts throughout the FTX Arena and on-court events are also organised for fans to win free hot Tabañero sauce.
Official ridesharing app: Uber
In October 2017, ridesharing app Uber announced a deal with the Miami Heat as a reliable transportation for players and staff to the FTX Arena. A drop-off zone was created for players to get to their home games in a safe and comfortable journey. Uber also offered a limited-time coupon code, HEAT17, for fans to access discounts on the Uber app.
Official train service: Brightline
In October 2017, Brightline, an inter-city running train, announced a partnership with the Miami Heat as their official train service. The partnership allows the company to offer packages and promotions to South Florida basketball fans.
Official solar energy partner: NRG
The Miami Heat’s deal with billion-dollar energy company NRG makes their stadium an elegant solar pavilion. This deal also grants NRG access to millions of fans and Miami visitors to showcase its clean energy products and services.
REEF Technology partnered with the Miami Heat in February 2020 to facilitate the distribution of unserved food from their home stadium to food banks and homeless shelters in the South Florida region.
JBL is the official partner of a number of players and teams from the NBA. The company extended its deal with the NBA in 2018 as its official audio partner. It also signed a deal with the Miami Heat ahead of the 2018-19 season. Their centre, Bam Adebayo, also donated JBL headphones to South Florida kids after the deal was finalised. This donation was carried out with an aim to ease the academics of students who are home-schooled.
In February 2018, the Miami Heat officially entered the esports world with Misfits Gaming and announced Dell’s gaming hardware brand Alienware as their official partner. The full list of technology includes Alienware Aurora desktops, Alienware 15 laptops, AW2518H 240Hz monitors, and a mixture of Alienware keyboards and mice.
Hair Club and the Miami Heat partnered to donate an all-inclusive suite night and 200 free tickets to selected organisations in South Florida in January 2022 based on their needs and community agendas. Several organisations and schools were chosen for the donation.