Sports Business : Wilson replaces Spalding as official ball of NBA

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The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Wilson Sporting Goods announced a multiyear global partnership today that will make Wilson the official game ball of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League, NBA 2K League and Basketball Africa League (BAL).

WILSON replaces SPALDING as official game ball of NBA

The NBA and long-standing partner Spalding agreed to part ways ahead of the expiration of their contract at the end of next season. Spalding has been the official game ball of the NBA since 1983. Prior to that, Wilson was the league’s partner for 37 years.

The partnership will tip off at different times by league.  The NBA Wilson game ball will first be used during the league’s 75th anniversary season in 2021-22.  The other debuts will be during the 2022 WNBA season, 2021-22 NBA G League season, 2021 NBA 2K League season and the inaugural BAL season.

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“This partnership with Wilson returns us to our roots as we plan for the future,” said Salvatore LaRocca, NBA President, Global Partnerships.  “We were partners for 37 seasons dating back to when Wilson manufactured the first official NBA basketballs in 1946, and we look forward to growing the game of basketball together.”

“Our commitment to growing the game of basketball on the global stage is at the heart of Wilson and our new partnership with the NBA,” said Kevin Murphy, General Manager, Wilson Basketball.  “Our passion for this game and the league runs incredibly deep, as does our history with it.  And as we start this new chapter in the game, our focus and energy will be on supporting the league and the players, coaches and fans with the most advanced, high-performance game basketballs possible.”

Wilson will manufacture the NBA, WNBA and NBA G League game balls using the same materials, eight-panel configuration and performance specifications as current game balls and will also source the same leather currently used in the NBA.  The NBA and its players will work jointly with Wilson to develop and approve the new game ball.