Emirates NBA Cup: $500M Partnership Renames In-Season Tournament

NBA's groundbreaking partnership with Emirates sets new precedents.

by Nouman Rasool
Emirates NBA Cup: $500M Partnership Renames In-Season Tournament
© Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The NBA has recently announced an exciting development in its global partnership efforts. The league's In-Season Tournament has been renamed the "Emirates NBA Cup," marking a significant sponsorship agreement with the renowned airline, Emirates.

This groundbreaking deal not only introduces a new name for the tournament but also positions Emirates as the inaugural partner of this NBA event.

Emirates NBA Cup Partnership

Commencing next year, the Emirates NBA Cup represents a major milestone in the league's expansion and viewership growth.

The agreement includes several key components, notably the integration of Emirates' branding into the NBA ecosystem. Most visibly, NBA referees will debut jersey patches featuring the Emirates logo during the All-Star game on February 18, signaling the start of this multifaceted partnership.

The In-Season Tournament, now rebranded as the Emirates NBA Cup, has already demonstrated its appeal and success. Its inaugural edition saw an impressive surge in viewership, with players showing a high level of engagement.

The final game, a thrilling showdown between LeBron James' LA Lakers and Tyrese Haliburton's Indiana Pacers, was a testament to the tournament's competitive spirit and entertainment value. The financial specifics of the Emirates NBA Cup deal remain undisclosed, but industry experts estimate the partnership could generate approximately $500 million in advertising revenue for the NBA.

This alliance marks a significant step in the league's global outreach and commercial strategy. Beyond the naming rights, the deal extends to jersey patches for referees across the NBA, WNBA, and G-League, expected to be implemented in the 2025 season.

Emirates will also be involved in merchandising, offering NBA gear at their Dubai headquarters and through their online store. Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum emphasized the strategic importance of this partnership, stating, "As basketball continues to grow as the fastest-expanding global sport, this collaboration will highlight the NBA's excitement to the millions flying with Emirates annually." The agreement also ensures Emirates' presence at major NBA events, including nationally televised games, starting with the upcoming All-Star game where their branding will feature prominently.

The inaugural Emirates NBA Cup is scheduled for the early months of the 2024-25 season, heralding a new era in NBA's global presence and commercial partnerships.