The NBA In-Season Tournament, which debuted last November to great fanfare, will be renamed the NBA Cup with Dubai-based Emirates as title sponsor under a new marketing partnership, the league announced Thursday.
The tournament, won by the Los Angeles Lakers, saw all 30 clubs compete in a World Cup-style format with group stages and knockout rounds, leading to the Lakers beating Indiana in the final last December in Las Vegas.
The NBA’s new deal also makes Emirates the league’s global airline partner and will see Emirates logo patches on all referee jerseys starting with the NBA All-Star Game on February 18 at Indianapolis and on all Women’s NBA referee jerseys starting in the 2025 campaign.
NBA teams began the season with a record 125 international players.
Attendance and television viewership jumped for early season games in the In-Season Tournament, leading to NBA record attendance for games last November. The league is on pace to break the full-season attendance record set last season.
Last December’s championship game had the greatest global engagement ever on the NBA League Pass.
The Emirates NBA Cup joins other sports partners of the airline, including football giants Real Madrid, AC Milan and Arsenal; the Rugby World Cup, ATP Tour and golf’s DP World Tour.
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