See the Swoosh. Sign the Swoosh.
Nike announced today an eight-year global merchandising and marketing partnership with the NBA that includes serving as the official oncourt apparel provider starting with the 2017-18 NBA season. And, in a first, Nike has the rights to splash the Swoosh sign on official NBA uniforms.
“This partnership with Nike represents a new paradigm in the structure of our global merchandising business,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement.
Silver added that Nike will help the league extend its global reach while touting the Oregon-based company’s “latest in technology” that will grace in-game uniforms and other oncourt products.
Adidas signed an 11-year deal with the NBA, starting in 2006. With that contract expiring—and no logo on uniforms—it was open season for companies to leverage their pitches to the NBA. Adidas attempted to extend its NBA deal, but dropped out of the running earlier this year when the NBA opened the bidding to other companies. Nike, which took over the NFL partnership in 2012, was the obvious frontrunner.
“We’re excited to bring the full power of our global reach, innovation and creativity to partner with the NBA and grow the game in a way only Nike can,” says Nike President and CEO Mark Parker in a statement.
Nike, which also owns Jordan Brand and Converse, has a diverse basketball-rich history to draw from—and an entire Jumpman-inspired line of products potentially in play.
The oncourt agreement allows Nike to design and manufacture authentic and Swingman jerseys, as well as oncourt warm-ups and shooting shirts, all with the Swoosh sign displayed. With the addition of the company logo, speculation will only increase that the NBA is moving toward adding advertisements on uniforms.
Nike will also partner with the NBA Development League and will now have key platforms when it comes time for NBA events such as the All-Star game.
Basketball has long been associated with Nike. Soon the NBA will highlight even more of the Swoosh.
Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.