The sport of basketball is global, and it unites people all over the world — something as simple as a sport. Now, Nike has presented an initiative to make sure the game of basketball gains even more exposure.
Nike and FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, announced a new multi-year partnership today that will cover FIBA’s senior men’s, women’s and youth flagship competitions worldwide. The new deal makes Nike the official partner for product and marketing at FIBA’s biggest competitions, including the FIBA Basketball World Cup.
Via Nike News:
Today’s announcement cements Nike as both FIBA’s supplier and strategic partner to grow the game of basketball around the world. In addition to the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Nike will also have exclusive category marketing rights for all FIBA events.
“We are very excited about this partnership with FIBA,” said Craig Zanon, VP/GM of Nike Global Basketball. “FIBA represents the highest level of international basketball competition, and Nike is committed to using our unmatched global reach to help foster player development and inspire fans around the world.”
As part of the new agreement, both organizations will promote the game with marketing communication and engagement of top players and ambassadors. In the first phase, this consumer connection will focus on the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 to be played across eight cities in China.
For decades, Nike has developed deep relationships with athletes throughout China, leading the growth of the game of basketball with access and instruction. Most recently, LeBron James and others from the Nike family trained with the U23 Chinese National Basketball team in Beijing. James, along with some of his coaches and trainers, participated in the training camp with the goal of preparing the U23 players for upcoming FIBA competitions.
Since 2012, Nike, in partnership with the Chinese Ministry of Education, has implemented a physical education program focused on improving the capacity of teachers and the physical ability of students in schools throughout the country.
“We are honoured to have helped ignite a powerful culture of basketball in China,” added Zanon. “Chinese basketball fans’ passion and appetite for the game promise to make the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 a marquee global event.”
FIBA recently announced major changes to their qualifying system, one result of which will be international teams playing more often. This new system will feature up to 1,200 international contests in the lead-up to FIBA’s showcase event, the FIBA Basketball World Cup. For fans, this will mean increased opportunities to see their national teams play on home soil prior to FIBA’s major tournaments.
“FIBA’s new qualifying system is a win for basketball fans around the world,” said Lynn Merritt, VP of Global Basketball Sports Marketing. “With this increased schedule and new emphasis on the international game, we look forward to helping connect fans to the energy and inspiration of their national teams and players.”
Specifically, Nike becomes the official FIBA product partner spanning apparel, footwear and equipment. As such, it has official sponsorship rights for all men’s and women’s and youth editions of FIBA’s competitions, including FIBA Basketball World Cups (2019, 2023 and 2027) and Qualifiers, FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cups, FIBA Continental Cups and Qualifiers, FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, FIBA U17 and U19 Basketball World Cups.
The agreement also sees Nike become the title partner for FIBA’s World Rankings, in addition to FIBA licensing rights.