Utah Jazz to raise money for cancer research with jersey patch

5 for the fight

USA TODAY Feb. 13, 2017—Qualtrics, the Utah-based data and analytics research firm, will sponsor the patch on the Utah Jazz uniforms for the next three seasons. With a charitable catch.

Qualtrics, the Utah-based data and analytics research firm, will sponsor the patch on the Utah Jazz uniforms for the next three seasons. With a charitable catch.

Instead of the Qualtrics logo on the jersey, a 5 For The Fight logo will be on the jerseys for at least the first season of the three-year deal between the two sides. 5 For The Fight is a charitable organization trying to eliminate cancer with $5 donations at a time with the goal of raising at least $50 million.

While other NBA teams — the Boston Celtics (General Electric), Brooklyn Nets (Infor), Philadelphia 76ers (StubHub) and Sacramento Kings (Blue Diamond Almonds) — have reached patch deals, the Jazz are the first to forsake a corporate logo for a charitable one.

“This is the right thing to do,” Qualtrics CEO Ryan Smith said. “As much as I would love to put Qualtrics on it, this idea of raising $50 million for cancer research was something we couldn’t stop thinking about it. The Jazz were open to our ideas and how we wanted to use the patch.”

The philanthropic effort is meaningful to Smith, whose dad, Scott, was diagnosed with throat cancer 15 years ago. Ryan left college to spend time with his dad and start Qualtrics, which has turned in a leader in customer optimization for more than 8,000 brands.

“If you think about the symmetry … 5 For the Fight and five players on the court working together as a team and then you think about our fans who feel pride when they buy that jersey, now they can feel pride about the cause that that team is affiliated with and something we can all rally behind,” Jazz president Steve Starks said. “We think it’s really special and an opportunity to use the Jazz as a platform to do good. Credit to Qualtrics for thinking creatively and altruistically.”

Qualtrics has been interested in a relationship with the NBA and had a brief discussion with the Jazz on arena naming rights. There is a business component to the relationships. Qualtrics is investing money in the Jazz and will provide the franchise with valuable information on the fan experience.

“We’re excited to be able to leverage what they do in terms of understanding fans and guests data and analytics and we’ll use that to improve our fan experience – everything from concession offerings to communicating with guests about what’s happening in the moment at a game. We can be far more adaptive at making sure we’re providing a world-class experience for our fans and guests. They have the best software in the world to help with that.”

Said Smith: “There’s no reason the arena won’t be full all the time if it’s an amazing experience.”

Follow Jeff Zillgitt on Twitter @JeffZillgitt

Top