PepsiCo and the National Basketball Association (NBA) today announced a new multiyear marketing partnership, making the food and beverage company an official marketing partner of the NBA, Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA Development League (NBA D-League), and USA Basketball beginning next season.
PepsiCo’s Gatorade brand has been the official sports drink of the NBA since 1984, but the new deal expands PepsiCo’s access to widely viewed sports events. It also gives the company’s Chinese partner, Tingyi, exclusive food and beverage sponsorship to NBA events in China. Chinese interest in the sport leaped after Yao Ming became an NBA star in 2002.
In China, PepsiCo partner Tingyi -- the country's largest domestic soft drink manufacturer -- will position its Master Kong brand as the lead beverage of the partnership. The NBA is the most popular sports league in China and, with 300 million participants, basketball is the nation's number one team sport.
"China is having a love affair with the NBA," said Tingyi Holding Corp. CEO James Wei. "The opportunities the NBA partnership offers us with Chinese fans and consumers are limitless. Every day, the NBA is making enormous strides in China, particularly among young adults. We look forward to working with PepsiCo and the NBA on inspiring fans in China and growing the league and our business as a result of this exciting partnership."
PepsiCo and Tingyi will leverage their portfolio of brands to create memorable moments for fans around the world during marquee events, including NBA All-Star, NBA Playoffs, The Finals, NBA Draft presented by State Farm, WNBA All-Star, NBA D-League All-Star presented by Kumho Tire, and the USA Basketball Global Exhibition Tour.