Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed, Mark Tatum, Isiah Thomas and other dignitaries pose for a picture during the ceremony in Dubai on Thursday.
Emirates and the National Basketball Association (NBA) on Thursday announced a multiyear global marketing partnership naming Emirates the Official Global Airline Partner of the NBA.
The collaboration also makes Emirates the inaugural title partner of the NBA Cup, previously named the NBA In-Season Tournament, as well as the first-ever referee jersey patch partner of the NBA.
As the first title partner of the Emirates NBA Cup, the global airline will be featured through a co-branded Emirates NBA Cup event logo, with co-branded promotion planned across the NBA’s global social media community and in-arena signage throughout the Emirates NBA Cup Semifinal and Championship games starting next season.
The Emirates logo will also be featured on all NBA referee jerseys, starting with the 2024 NBA All-Star Game taking place on Sunday, 18 February at 8:00 p.m. ET on TNT.
“We are proud to establish a global marketing partnership with the National Basketball Association to become its Official Global Airline Partner,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates Group Chairman and Chief Executive. “This collaboration will also see Emirates become the league’s first referee jersey patch partner and the inaugural title partner of the NBA Cup. With basketball’s popularity around the world, we are excited to work with one of the most globally recognized and prestigious professional leagues. The NBA is a valuable addition to our sponsorship portfolio as it allows us to connect with a vast global fanbase, including in the U.S., where the game is an integral part of the country’s sport culture.”
“Emirates is a world-class airline that shares our commitment to engaging fans around the world in new and creative ways,” said NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. “As basketball continues to be recognized as the fastest growing sport globally, this collaboration will showcase the excitement of the NBA to the millions of people who fly Emirates every year.”
The sponsorship will also allow Emirates to enjoy a presence at other marquee league events, including as a partner of NBA Crossover – an immersive fan event at NBA All-Star – and as the presenting partner of the NBA Finals Legacy Project, which features the dedication of new NBA Cares Live, Learn, or Play Centers in each NBA Finals team market. Emirates branding will also be visible through virtual in-arena signage and on top of the backboard during nationally televised NBA games, beginning with the 2024 NBA All-Star Game.
Emirates will engage NBA fans around the world as a partner of select preseason and regular-season NBA Global Games and through the league’s interactive fan events, including “NBA District” and “NBA House.”
Fans will have the opportunity to watch NBA content on all Emirates flights via the airline’s inflight entertainment system, including long-form documentaries, player profiles, interviews and more.
The marketing partnership will also allow basketball fans to purchase a wide range of official NBA merchandise, including basketballs, sportswear and vintage collectibles, with co-branded collaborations to follow later this year. The merchandise will be sold at the official Emirates Store at Emirates’ Headquarters in Dubai and online at www.emirates.store, which delivers worldwide. Emirates Skywards members can also redeem Miles to purchase items from the exciting range.
Emirates’ patch will also be featured on the jerseys for all referees in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), beginning with the 2025 season, and NBA G League, the official minor league of the NBA, beginning with the 2024-25 season.
The 73rd NBA All-Star Game will take place at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana and reach fans in 214 countries and territories in 60 languages on television, digital media and social media.
Emirates has been a longstanding supporter of basketball in the region for almost 30 years, helping to connect with avid fans of the popular sport in the UAE and Lebanon, and providing a platform to highlight the best and brightest stars.
Emirates’ global sponsorship portfolio includes partnerships with top sporting clubs, tournaments, high-profile cultural events, and more. Emirates’ association with NBA will support the airline’s efforts to reach a huge fanbase in the U.S. and worldwide through a shared passion for the sport of basketball.
Emirates currently offers services to 12 U.S. gateways, including Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), Chicago’s O'Hare International Airport (ORD), Washington D.C.’s Dulles International Airport (IAD), Seattle Tacoma Airport (SEA), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), Miami International Airport (MIA) and Orlando International Airport (MCO).
Emirates airline said on Thursday it had rejected demands by London’s Heathrow Airport to cut capacity despite being threatened with legal action, and that it would continue to operate to schedule.
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