NBA Partners With Fanatics to Produce Cloth Face Masks Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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The NBA and the WNBA are partnering with Fanatics to produce cloth face coverings with team logos on them to help communities impacted by the coronavirus, the NBA announced Friday morning.

All league proceeds from the sales of the new face cloth coverings will benefit Feeding America in the United States and Second Harvest in Canada.

Sports Illustrated reported on the news of the launch prior to its release.

The decision to sell the team-branded products to help COVID-19 relief is the NBA's latest effort to try and make a positive difference amid the pandemic. In the more than month since suspending its season indefinitely, the league has been at the forefront of educating its fans about the virus. Many of its players and teams have already donated large sums of money towards coronavirus relief and the league's players and coaches have demonstrated on social media different activities that can be done indoors or while social distancing.

Its latest product offering comes following the Centers for Disease Control's recommendation to wear face coverings in public. The cloth masks will be listed on NBAStore.com and WNBAStore.com.

“As a global community, we can all play a role in reducing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic by following the CDC’s recommendation to cover our nose and mouth while in public,” Kathy Behrens, NBA president, social responsibility and player programs, said in a statement. “Through this new product offering, NBA and WNBA fans can adhere to these guidelines while joining in the league’s efforts to aid those who have been directly affected by COVID-19.”

Fanatics, which operates e-commerce for both leagues, has similarly taken part in a number of COVID-19 relief efforts. 

The company also manufactures MLB's Nike uniforms and it announced in late March that it had temporarily converted its domestic factory in Easton, Pa., to turn the fabric used in jerseys to produce protective masks and gowns for medical professionals who are fighting the pandemic in the United States.

Earlier this week, Fanatics executive chairman Michael Rubin additionally launched the "All In Challenge," which is looking to raise tens of millions of dollars to feed those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As of Friday morning there were 2.1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus, causing at least 140,000 deaths. There are more than 666,000 confirmed cases in the United States.