The NBA and Nike announced late Wednesday afternoon that the two companies had signed an eight-year marketing partnership that would make Nike the official provider of all on-court apparel for the NBA, the WNBA, the NBA Development League and USA Basketball. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“This partnership with NIKE represents a new paradigm in the structure of our global merchandising business,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement published Wednesday.
The partnership also ushers the NBA into a place Silver suggested it would take years for his league to get to. Starting with the 2017-18 season, Nike’s swoosh logo will appear on all NBA apparel, making it the first time a corporate logo will appear on professional basketball’s top jerseys during the regular season. Previous partner logos have appeared on jerseys during the NBA All-Star Game.
Not only for America, the jersey sponsor also would influence on China market.
Nike is buying into the league’s growing popularity abroad. Both the NBA and Nike have been cultivating Chinese interest in basketball for decades, and the time may be right for a company like Nike to begin reaping serious rewards. There are now 300 million people playing basketball in China, according to the Chinese Basketball Association, and Nike routinely sends top players like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant to the country on promotional tours. “China is a huge driver of this deal,” Farnsworth said.
Adidas will be looking to leverage Chinese attention in the final year of its deal as well. A number of jerseys that will hit the court next season have an aesthetic sensibility very similar to the one found on Chinese Basketball Association jerseys, which are chock full of ads.
The deal will help the company in gaining global visibility. It already has a majority market share in US basketball; hence, it is not likely to gain any significant advantages from the game itself. However, it will be able to gain additional global prominence, as NBA is focusing on globalizing basketball. Nike has already been sending some of its most popular products to overseas markets like China, and NBA’s contract further highlights the company’s influence in China.
Presumably, as the Nike started sponsoring NBA, they would try all means to develop overseas business. China, as the largest market in the world, will definitely become the main target for Nike. After the opening for the jersey sponsor, more and more Chinese companies hope to catch the opportunity of collaborating with NBA teams. The commercial value of NBA is about to boost in China market. In general, the partnership between Nike and NBA would be a brand new opportunity for NBA to stretch in China and Chinese companies to establish new cooperation with NBA.