The 76th season of the National Basketball Association got underway earlier this week.
One of the wealthiest and most watched professional sports leagues in the world, the NBA is followed by fans worldwide and is a darling for brands worldwide.
As the NBA gets underway, today we look at the sponsors of the league for the 2021-22 season.
Founded in 2005 through Take-Two Interactive, 2K Sports has been the Official Gaming Partner of NBA ever since, which facilitates the annual release of a basketball simulation video game series called NBA 2K.
Take-Two and NBA collaborated to launch the NBA 2K League in 2017, and in 2019, both of them extended their partnership for a further seven years in a deal reportedly worth US$1.1 billion.
In 2015, Nike replaced Adidas as the exclusive apparel provider of the NBA, starting with the 2016-17 season. The eight-year deal saw Nike become the first athletic apparel company who had its logo on the teams’ uniforms. Bloomberg reported the deal to be worth US$1 billion. Nike has also been the marketing partner of the NBA since 1992.
Financial services provider American Express has been the Official Card of the NBA and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) since 1995.
In 2021, the NBA signed a multi-year extension with the company that would see it continue as the Official Card of the leagues. Although their partnership dates back to 1995, between 2005 and 2010, American Express wasn’t partnering with the NBA.
Additionally, American Express is also the Official Card for the Boston Celtics, the Brooklyn Nets, the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.
ALSO READ – NBA: Top Crypto Deals in NBA
In July 2020, the NBA signed a multi-year agreement with brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, which saw its Michelob ULTRA brand become the NBA’s Official Beer Partner. Michelob ULTRA replaced Budweiser, and the partnership sees the brand engage with the fans virtually, creating in-stadium-like experiences.
American telecommunications company AT&T currently serves as the NBA’s Tech-services, wireless and telecom partner.
AT&T partnered with the NBA in 2019, joining on initially as its Tech-services partner, which was a multi-year deal focusing mainly on creating new fan experiences across the NBA, the WNBA, the NBA 2K League and USA Basketball.
In 2021, the NBA strengthened its partnership with AT&T, with the latter becoming the Official 5G innovation partner of the NBA and the WNBA.
Beats by Dre
Headphone company Beats by Dre signed a multi-year deal with the NBA in 2018 that saw the Apple-owned company become the Official Headphone, Wireless Speaker and Audio Partner of the NBA, the WNBA, the NBA G League and USA Basketball.
In July 2018, the NBA inked a deal with Las Vegas-based casino operator MGM Resorts International that saw the latter join the former on a three-year deal as its first-ever sports gambling partner.
The deal is reportedly worth US$25 million and sees MGM get exclusive rights to the official NBA and WNBA logos and trademarks, while also having access to the official NBA data streams to create products like in-game betting.
In December 2020, CarMax was named as the Official Auto-Retailer of the NBA and the WNBA. The USA’s largest retailer of used cars, CarMax also became the presenting partner of the NBA Tip-Off on TNT.
Public health and disinfection company, The Clorox Company, signed a multi-year partnership in March 2021, which saw Clorox become the Official Cleaning Partner of the NBA and the WNBA.
As part of the deal, Clorox promotes health and safety during all NBA and WNBA matches and also supply disinfecting products to the leagues with a vision to create a cleaner and safer environment for teams and fans alike.
The USA’s leading logistics platform, DoorDash became the first-ever on-demand delivery platform of the NBA and the WBNA after signing a multi-year partnership in August 2020.
American video game company Electronic Arta (EA) has been a long-term partner of the NBA.
EA started publishing the NBA Live series of annually-released basketball simulation video games back in 1994. Since the launch of the NBA 2K series, the NBA Live series has taken a backseat, though EA confirmed in 2021 that it was still working on a new edition. Currently, EA also holds a licensing deal with the NBA that grants the company exclusive rights to the players and the teams.
American multinational oil and gas corporation Exxon Mobil signed a long-term deal with the NBA in 2016, which saw the company become the Official Fuel Partner of the NBA, the WBNA and the NBA G League.
The New York-based gambling company, which offers sportsbook, daily fantasy, online casino and online horse race betting products, became the first Official Daily Fantasy Partner of the NBA after inking a multi-year deal in 2014.
In 2018, both parties extended their partnership, which saw FanDuel become the Authorized Gaming Operator of the NBA.
In December 2020, Hotel.com, part of the Expedia Group Company, became the Official Travel Partner of the NBA after signing a multi-year global partnership.
The deal allows Hotels.com to engage with the fans and travellers alike through integrated marketing efforts and also gain in-game presence with brand integration on backboards.
A leading recovery and performance technology firm, Hyperice joined the NBA family in July 2020, which saw it become the Official Recovery Technology Partner of the NBA.
The deal sees Hyperice provide the players with custom-designed Hyperbox that features Hypervolt products, including the world’s quietest hand-held percussive massager.
Oakland-based health care company Kaiser Permanente joined the NBA as the Official Healthcare Partner of the league as well as the WNBA in 2015 on a long-term deal.
Kaiser Permanente continues its partnership with the NBA and the WNBA, providing medical expertise and consultants for the leagues on health and wellness programming. Kaiser Permanente also collaborates to develop the NBA ‘Health and Wellness Forum’.
In 2008, NBA partnered with Kia Motors, which saw the company become the Official Automotive Partner of the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA G-League. As part of the deal, Kia gains exclusive marketing rights and enjoys branding presence across marquee NBA events.
Kia Motors extended its partnership with the league in October 2021, signing a new multi-year deal.
Kumho Tire joined the NBA sponsorship portfolio as the league’s Official Tyre Partner back in 2014. Kumho Tire enjoys a marketing partnership with the NBA in the USA, Canada and South Korea. The deal sees the company also gain access to extensive branding rights.
The NBA last renewed this multi-year partnership in 2016.
The NBA signed a multi-year deal with fashion brand Louis Vuitton in January 2020. The deal was a first for the fashion brand with a major North American sports organisation.
The deal sees Louis Vuitton create an exclusive travel case for the Larry O’Brien Trophy and also release a limited-edition NBA capsule collection.
Microsoft joined the NBA, becoming its Official Technology Partner, in April 2020. The partnership sees both parties collaborate to create a direct-to-consumer platform which helps deliver exclusive fan engagement experiences and streaming capabilities that are enhanced by Microsoft Azure and its AI system.
Microsoft also serves as the Official Artificial Intelligence Partner and the Official Cloud and Laptop Partner to the NBA, the WNBA, the NBA G League and USA Basketball.
Moët Hennessy, one of the leading Cognac sellers in the world, signed a multi-year partnership with the NBA that saw the company become the Official Spirit of the NBA, the WNBA and USA Basketball.
Hennessy also serves as an Associate Partner to the NBA Celebrity Game and a Presenting Partner of the pre-game red carpet.
The NBA signed a four-year marketing and licensing partnership with confectionary giant Mondelēz International in March 2021. The partnership saw Mondelēz launch the limited-edition NBA Dynasty Oreo cookies.
Mondelēz also works on other fan engagement activities, such as the ‘Taste Greatness’ sweepstakes, which gave the fans a chance to win a trip to the NBA All-Star Game.
American footwear and apparel brand New Balance signed a multi-year deal with the NBA in February 2020, which saw the athletic brand join the league as an Official Marketing Partner.
The Boston-based sportswear brand works with the NBA to create authentic digital, broadcast and retail content, which features sponsored athletes.
In October 2016, New Era teamed up with the league to become the Official Headwear Partner of the NBA and the WNBA.
As part of the deal, the Buffalo-headquartered headwear brand designs and manufactures caps for marquee NBA Events like the NBA Draft, the Conference Finals, and the NBA Finals.
In August 2020, the NBA signed a deal with Facebook-owned virtual reality platform Oculus, making it the Official Marketing Partner of the league.
The multi-year partnership has seen Oculus become the first-ever VR headset partner of the NBA, the WNBA and the NBA G League. Oculus’s signage is also present at the IMG Academy and ESPN Wide World of Sport.
Oculus also serves as an associate partner of the NBA Draft, the NBA All-Star Game and the WNBA’s Believe in Women platform.
Italian company Panini has held the exclusive license for basketball trading cards for the NBA since 2009. Panini’s current deal with the NBA runs till 2026, and it is reported that sports merchandise giant Fanatics is set to replace Panini once the deal runs out.
Also Read – Top 10 Richest NBA Teams
The NBA inked a long-term deal with food and beverage giant PepsiCo in April 2015, which saw the latter become the Official Food and Beverage Partner of the NBA, the WNBA, the NBA G League and USA Basketball. The partnership saw the NBA end its 28-year partnership with Coca-Cola
The partnership saw Mountain Dew replace Sprite as the sponsor of the Slam Dunk Contest and Gatorade continue its sponsorship deal, with the latter being a sponsor since 1984.
Athletic, apparel and footwear brand Puma signed a multi-year marketing partnership with the NBA in February 2019. The deal allows Puma to create official merchandise for the NBA and also use the NBA logos and uniforms for advertising.
Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten signed a lucrative multi-year partnership with the NBA in 2017. The deal was reported to be worth US$225 million. Rakuten became the exclusive distribution partner in Japan for the NBA games while also becoming a global marketing partner.
The NBA signed a long-term deal with German multinational software company SAP in 2012, which saw it become an official partner of the league. The deal saw SAP create a real-time data platform, which enabled the league to collate unlimited amounts of NBA stats and information directly to the fans via its official website.
In August 2021, NBA renewed its partnership with the German company.
Santa Clara-based software company ServiceNow became the Official Workflow Partner of the NBA and the WNBA in October 2020 after signing a multi-year partnership.
The deal sees both the NBA and the WNBA use ServiceNow’s employee workflow solutions to manage the processes of their respective seasons. ServiceFlow also works on essential onboarding and health-screening processes to provide a safer environment for teams and fans alike.
Insurance group State Farm signed a six-year sponsorship deal with the NBA in 2016. It currently holds rights to the NBA, the NBA G League and USA Basketball.
Luxury Swiss watch brand Tissot signed a six-year deal with the NBA in 2015 which was reported to be worth US$200 million.
The deal saw the Swiss brand become the first-ever Official Timekeeper of the league and develop a new timing system for the NBA along with rebranding the clocks above the baskets in all of the league’s arenas.
Gambling operator William Hill signed a multi-year deal with NBA, which saw it become a sports betting operator of the league.
William Hill gained rights to use NBA betting data and league branding across its mobile platforms and sportsbook. The NBA, in turn, promotes William Hill across its digital assets, which include its website, official app and social media platforms.
In 2015, Under Armour signed a multi-year partnership with the NBA, joining on as the Presenting Partner of the NBA youth program and the Official Title Partner of the NBA Draft Combine.
Under Armour also serves as the Official Outfitter of the Draft Combine and holds rights to make a retail line of the Draft Combine apparel for the fans.
In 2020, the NBA ended its long-term partnership with Spalding, the manufacturer of the league’s official game ball since 1983, to sign a new deal with Wilson Sporting Goods.
Wilson replaced Spalding across the NBA, the WNBA, the NBA G League, the 2K League and the Basketball Africa League to supply balls from the 2021-22 season.
The NBA and Yahoo! Sports teamed up in July 2020 on a multi-year partnership that saw Yahoo! Sports become the Official Marketing Partner of the league. Yahoo! Sports engages with the fans via fantasy and sports betting and produces betting content on its platform.
In 2018, YouTube TV became the first-ever presenting sponsor of the 2018 NBA Finals. After signing a multi-year deal with the NBA, YouTube TV also became the presenting sponsor of the WNBA Finals and the NBA G League.
The deal sees a logo with “Presented by YouTube TV’ featured during all NBA Finals and also on the court and inside the arena. YouTube TV also gets ABC ad-spots and in-game callouts while gaining branding presence across the NBA’s digital and social media platforms.
In October 2021, the NBA signed a new multi-year deal with Google and its brand Pixel. The deal sees Google Pixel become the Official Fan Phone of the NBA, the NBA G League and the NBA 2K League. Pixel is also the Presenting Partner of the NBA playoffs.
Google is also the league’s Official Search Engine, Search Trends and Fan Insights Partner. Both parties have additionally announced that they will work together to create new 3D and AR-driven fan engagement tools.
Right at the start of the 2021-22 season, the NBA partnered with cryptocurrency platform Coinbase. The multi-year deal sees Coinbase become the league’s first-ever cryptocurrency partner. Coinbase also joined as the exclusive cryptocurrency platform of the WNBA, the NBA G League, the NBA 2K League and USA Basketball.
The deal sees Coinbase get branding visibility during NBA broadcasts while also being the presenting partner of the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup and USA Basketball’s men’s and women’s exhibition tours.