The NBA has taken another step in a positive direction. The league announced on Thursday that Emirates, the Dubai-based airline, has secured naming rights for the NBA Cup as a part of its multiyear global marketing partnership. With this landmark deal, Emirates becomes the official global airline partner of the NBA.
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As per the contract terms, the NBA Cup will have a new name – the Emirates NBA Cup, starting next year. Moreover, Emirates will also appear on the league’s first commercial referee jersey patches for NBA, WNBA, and G-league games. These jersey patches will make their debut during the highly anticipated 2024 NBA All-Star Game on TNT, scheduled for Sunday, February 18th, at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Emirates & the NBA announce a multiyear deal naming Emirates the official global airline partner of the NBA.
Emirates will be the inaugural title sponsor of the NBA Cup (In-Season Tournament) and the 1st-ever referee jersey patch partner of the NBA (starting from All Star game)
The league also mentioned in the new release that Emirates branding will be featured on nationally televised games through virtual signage and on top of the backboards. Their presence will also be felt during the league’s marquee events, such as the NBA Crossover during the All-Star weekend and the NBA Finals Legacy Project. While the financial details of the contract are kept under wraps, this partnership has a lot in store for the fans as well.
How does the new deal benefit the fans?
The state-owned airline will actively engage NBA fans worldwide by participating in the NBA’s interactive fan events like “NBA District” and “NBA House.” In addition, basketball fans flying with Emirates will gain access to NBA content, including long-format documentaries, player profiles, and interviews, enhancing their overall experience.
As part of the agreement, Emirates gains the right to retail official NBA merchandise, catering to basketball enthusiasts worldwide. A diverse array of products, from basketballs to sportswear and vintage collectibles, will be on offer, with additional co-branded collaborations slated for later this year. Fans can purchase these items from the official Emirates Store at Emirates’ headquarters in Dubai and online, with convenient worldwide delivery options available. Emirates Skywards members can also use their Miles for purchases within this captivating merchandise range.
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Speaking of the new deal, NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum said, “Emirates is a world-class airline that shares our commitment to engaging fans around the world in new and creative ways. As basketball continues to be recognized as the fastest growing sport globally, this collaboration will showcase the excitement of the NBA to the millions of people who fly Emirates every year.”
Emirates has been active in the sports sponsorship scene since its inception 40 years ago, boasting an impressive array of partnerships. These include stadium naming and front-of-shirt rights with Arsenal FC, sponsorship deals with three of tennis’ four Grand Slam events, and support for the esteemed cycling team, UAE Team Emirates, alongside various other affiliations. With involvement across 24 international sports properties, Emirates continues to strengthen its presence in the sports world. “The NBA is a valuable addition to our sponsorship portfolio as it allows us to connect with a vast global fanbase, including in the U.S., where the game is an integral part of the country’s sport culture,” stated the Chairman of the Emirates Group, Sheik Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, in a statement.