In a landmark deal, Beats By Dr. Dre and the National Basketball Association have announced a wide-ranging marketing and merchandising partnership that will make the Apple-owned company the official headphone, wireless speaker and audio partner of the NBA, WNBA and USA Basketball, as well as the NBA development system the NBA G League.
This deal, which goes into effect next month, marks the headphone company’s first with a major sports league and could translate to additional marketing opportunities for Apple-supported artists. Anderson .Paak, who is signed to the Apple-backed label 12 Time Music, has already had his single “Bubblin'” featured in ads for Apple’s HomePod speakers.
The partnership will leverage Beats’ already robust roster of NBA pitchmen, including LeBron James, Draymond Green, James Harden, Ben Simmons, Jayson Tatum and Karl-Anthony Towns, plus the company will become a familiar site at marquee events, including All-Star games, the draft, and U.S. national team exhibition tours.
Additionally, Beats is looking to establish separate deals with individual NBA teams that will include launching products with localized branding.
“Beats revolutionized the music industry and has become one of the most innovative and culturally influential brands in the world,” said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. “Through our partnership, we have an exciting opportunity to merge sports, pop culture and technology to deliver unparalleled experiences and premium products to our fans.”
Added Luke Wood, president of Beats by Dr. Dre: “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 regularly breaking new music… the list goes on and on. This partnership with the NBA is the perfect alignment for Beats. It feels like coming home.”