NBA snaps up Coinbase as first crypto partner

  • Contract covers WNBA Commissioner’s Cup presenting partnership
  • Coinbase gains prominent branding during live NBA broadcasts

The National Basketball Association (NBA) has announced a new partnership with cryptocurrency platform Coinbase in a multi-year deal starting from the 2021/22 season.

The agreement sees Coinbase become the North American basketball league’s first ever cryptocurrency partner. Coinbase also becomes the exclusive cryptocurrency platform of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League, NBA 2K League and USA Basketball.

Through the new arrangement, Coinbase’s branding will feature during live NBA broadcasts, while the brand will also be the presenting partner for the WNBA Commissioner’s Cup, as well as the USA Basketball men’s and women’s exhibition tours.

Coinbase, a platform which allows its users to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin, is also partnering with the G League Ignite development basketball team.

The deal sees the cryptocurrency industry continue to move into the NBA sponsorship market, after a number of teams recently signed deals with brands.

“As a trusted cryptocurrency platform used by millions, Coinbase is a natural fit as the NBA’s first-ever partner in this thriving category,” said Kerry Tatlock, senior vice president of the NBA’s marketing partnerships and media.

“We look forward to collaborating with Coinbase to provide fans with new ways to engage with the league and each other, while also enhancing the experience for fans who are already Coinbase users.”

Elsewhere, the NBA has also agreed a multi-year partnership with betting company Tab, in a deal which sees it become the league’s official wagering partner in Australia.

Tab’s parent company Tabcorp previously agreed a multi-year content distribution deal with the NBA in 2019, which saw coverage of NBA TV air in the betting company’s locations. This expanded deal will include live games, betting, and NBA touchpoints in more than 4,400 locations.

Though the agreement, Tab branding and content will also feature on the NBA’s digital channels. The betting company also becomes the presenting partner for an Australian edition of the ‘NBA Pick’Em’ free prediction game.

The NBA will also create a localised version of its betting simulcast NBABet Stream, which will be the first of its kind outside of the US.

“Fan engagement is the core of our partnership with Tab, a proven leader and innovator in the wagering space,” said Scott Levy, executive vice president and managing director of NBA Asia.

“This NBA season is primed to be yet another thrilling basketball showcase, and together with Tab, we will deliver the best possible gaming experience to deepen our engagement with the many passionate NBA fans in Australia who are interested in gaming.”

In addition, the NBA has announced a multi-year extension of its partnership with Kia. The car manufacturer has been an official league partner for 15 years. This renewal sees Kia take on the title sponsorship of the NBA G League end-of-season awards, while becoming an official partner of the NBA Summer League, and the title partner for the league’s All-NBA teams.

Furthermore, Kia will continue its commitment to women’s sport, expanding its WNBA partnership to become the title partner for the league’s monthly and end-of-season awards.

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