The NBA has announced a sponsorship deal with Beats by Dr. Dre to make them the official headphone, wireless speaker and audio partner of the NBA, WNBA, NBA G League and USA Basketball beginning in October 2018.
The sound tech company takes over from competitor Harman who have been in bed with the NBA since 2014. Beats by Dr. Dre will now be able to launch its own NBA team-branded headphones just like Harman when they launched their famed ‘NBA Collection’ line-up of team-branded headphones.
Beats which is endorsed by some of the biggest names in the National Basketball Association including LeBron James, James Harden, Draymond Green and Ben Simmons has never featured ads showing the stars wearing their actual NBA uniforms, but that will also change with this new cooperation.
League rules however, will still apply to players not wearing headphones in the lay-up line before games but they will be free to wear whatever brand they so desire during shoot-arounds well in advance of the game, or in the locker room before and after games.
Luke Wood, president of Beats by Dr. Dre, was quoted as saying: ‘The NBA and its players have long been significant drivers of global culture,’
‘Basketball, music and style speak as one voice: Julius Erving became a style icon, Allen Iverson cemented hip hop’s place on and off the court and LeBron James is breaking new music every day…the list goes on and on.’
Harman has however vowed to continue working with the NBA, NBA teams and NBA players and they might still be able to steal some exposure via its individual player deals.