Sports Crate, a division of Loot Crate, has signed an exclusive partnership with the NBA to provide fans of 13 teams (GS, CLE, NY, CHI, BOS & LA are all available) with a subscription box service. Courtside Crates, offered individually, quarterly or bi-monthly, will contain team apparel, collectibles and fan experiences including tickets to games and meet-and-greets with players. The boxes will be limited to ensure their collectability. Financial terms of the deal were not released.
Howie Long-Short: Since their launch in 2012, Loot Crate has experienced remarkable growth; acquiring 650,000 recurring monthly subscribers. The company was on the cover of Inc. Magazine, where it was named the nation’s “fastest growing startup” in the summer of 2016. The excitement surrounding that rapid growth has long worn off though, as the company burned through the $18.5 million it raised in June ’16 and was forced to lay off 27% of its staff. It does appear to be back on the right track with CEO Chris Davis making more responsible decisions. Loot Crate is privately held, but you can play the company through Time Inc. (TIME); a participant in last summer’s $18.5 million Series A round.
Fan Marino: I don’t subscribe to box subscription services, because I look to keep my monthly fixed expenses to a minimum. Dollar Shave Club, which reduces consumer spend on a necessary product, is one of few that I would consider. Sports Crate, as currently marketed, doesn’t do it for me; I want to shop for my own clothing. But if they introduce a box consisting solely of discounted game tickets and player meet-and-greets then they’ve got themselves a new customer.
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