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Nike Becomes Official Outfitter For NBA

adidas began an 11-year deal with the NBA in 2006 taking over Reebok, a brand which it owns.  Starting the 2016-2017 season, Nike will become the official NBA outfitter for the next eight years.

The agreement was signed back in 2015 worth roughly $1 billion, according to sources, which is about a 245 percent annual increase from the previous deal with Nike.   What sets apart this deal with past NBA contracts with adidas, Reebok, and even the previous Nike deal that ended in 2004 is the Nike logo to appear on the jersey itself.  This is the first time the NBA has agreed to show the Swoosh logo visibly on the jersey.

Beginning this October, Nike will outfit the NBA with a few teams joining immediately with new jersey designs and creations.  Teams like the Charlotte Hornets will sport the Jordan Jumpman logo on both home and away jerseys due to the owner Michael Jordan.  There are photos of the Brooklyn Nets, Toronto Raptors, and the Cleveland Cavaliers having the Nike embroidered on their uniform.  At the time, Nike did not thoroughly go through their designs with sponsors as reported by NBA’s vice president of global partnerships, Lisa Piken Koper.  According to her, some teams will have drastic changes and some will look similar.

Expect to see Nike take full advantage of this deal by including more than just on-court jerseys in their repertoire.  Remember the time when Nike debuted their Elite socks for basketball?  They will create sock designs for specific players and teams throughout the league.  Products from NBA shirts, shorts, head bands, and even shooting sleeves will all be part of the deal.  Nike stores from all platforms will slowly incorporate their NBA products into their retail business opening greater opportunities for the brand.

Currently, the NBA has a partnership with Stance for the socks on court.  However,  Stance Socks will no longer provide on-court apparel, but will continue to partner with the NBA from a licensing perspective.  They will have rights to bring the lifestyle category to retail.

In the photos below, you can see a preview of the Phoenix Suns uniform.  There is no official information if these will be the new jerseys for next season, but it looks to be legitimate leaks from the franchise.  You also have the Toronto Raptors uniform that looks similar to their current design seen on court unlike the Suns jerseys that a bit different.  Last week, DeMar DeRozan was named the cover athlete for the NBA 2K18 version in Canada.  On the cover he is clearly sporting the new Nike NBA Toronto Raptor jersey.

In addition to the Nike branding, the NBA is also looking into adding an advertising component on the uniforms as well.  There will be sponsor logos on uniforms on-court starting next season, and it will be uniform across all teams on the left part of the chest.  There is no word yet on what specific sponsors will be for each team however, General Electric and the Boston Celtics have come to terms earlier this year.  This includes:

  • Digital and Social Media Content
  • Fan Engagement and Enhancement
  • TV Visible Signage
  • Scoreboard Integration and Promotions

As of right now, the NBA and its teams will continue to sell their current adidas inventory until it is gone.  Many teams have retailers that carry the adidas inventory and are taking the right initiative to clear out what they still have left.  Nike and Jordan Brand commands 92%  of the U.S. basketball shoe market.  adidas is left with 5% of the pie, while Reebok, owned by adidas, has a 2% share.  Brands Under Armour, And1, and Fila control less than 1% of the market combined.  Thanks to top endorsers like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and up and coming stars Kyrie Irving and Paul George, Nike will clearly stay atop of the sport of basketball.

All teams are getting ready for the global NBA and Nike launch on October 1, 2017.

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