Basketball

NBA reveals restart explainer short

The NBA has unveiled a short explainer video as it gears up for it's 'restart' in a bio-secure bubble at Disneyland Orlando.

The association is set to return on 30th June, with 22 teams heading to the 'bubble' for an intial abridged regular season of eight fixtures, before the final Playoff places are confirmed.

Barring any close finishes for the 8th seed - in which case a small 'play-in' tournament will take place - the Playoffs will then proceed as standard.

The games will have no fans and teams will be subject to regular coronavirus testing throughout. 

 

Nike in powerful Kobe Bryant tribute

Nike has paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant with a moving homage to the LA Lakers great’s career.

The new social media spot, Mamba Forever, shows how the basketballer’s career will be immortalised thanks to his multitude of iconic moments and achievements.

The untimely death of the player, known as Black Mamba, precipitated an outpouring of grief and tributes from across the sporting world and on the day a memorial service was held for Bryant, Nike unveiled its own simple yet powerful homage.

Toronto Raptors in first ever hijab launch

Reigning NBA Champions the Toronto Raptors have become the first major league sports team to sell a branded hijab, in a move aimed at celebrating their diverse fanbase.

The Raptors, the first Canadian team to win an NBA Championship, unveiled the Nike Pro Hijab and immediately placed it on sale in its on-site megastore. The hijab features the team’s iconic claw logo on one side, with a Nike swoosh adorning the other.

The item was launched alongside a shortform social video featuring the Hijabi Ballers, a Toronto-based basketball club for Muslim women and girls.

NBA considers investment programme to buy shares in teams

The NBA is considering the creation of an investment programme to allow the league to buy passive, minority shares in its teams.

As the valuation of NBA franchises rises - the Brooklyn Nets were bought by Alibaba co-founder Joseph Tsai for a record $2.3bn last month - the league is looking into the creation of “a new capital vehicle that could purchase passive, minority ownership interests across multiple NBA teams.”

Dallas Mavericks to accept bitcoin payments for ticket sales

NBA side the Dallas Mavericks will accept bitcoin for fans purchasing tickets and merchandise online.

The Mavs will become the second NBA team to accept cryptocurrency as a method of payment after the Sacramento Kings launched a similar scheme last year. The Kings partnered with MiningStore.com to launch their initiative just over a year ago, while the Mavericks have partnered with blockchain payment service provider BitPay.

NBA announces scheduling times with UK and European fans in mind

The NBA has announced fixtures for the 2019/20 regular season, which will feature a record 48 prime time games in Europe, the Middle East and Africa as part of the league’s ‘NBA Saturdays’ and ‘NBA Sundays’ primetime initiative.  

A prime time game scheduled for 8pm CET will be available to fans on both Saturdays and Sundays from the start of the season in a drive to ensure that UK and European fans of the sport can see more of action during the evenings at weekends.

INDUSTRY SHORTS: Southampton, Newcastle, FIFA, NBA...

Cryptocurrency platform StormGain has become the new official sleeve partner of Premier League club Newcastle United.

The deal covers Newcastle’s first-team shirts until the end of the 2019/20 season. StormGain, which recently launched a new trading and investing mobile application, will also have branding exposure around the club’s St James’ Park stadium and training centre.

StormGain will provide Newcastle fans with various offers and engagement opportunities, such as competitions to win match tickets and signed merchandise, as well as meet-and-greets with players.

Industry Shorts: NBA, La Liga, adidas, Unilever

The NBA, together with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) and gaming supplier Highlight Games Limited, has launched an exclusive virtual sports betting game that will utilise actual NBA highlights and footage.

‘NBA Last 90’ will debut in US and European gaming and lottery markets during the 2019/20 NBA season. The game will feature an archive of NBA highlights and footage from recent seasons and will offer players a unique virtual sports gaming experience.

Industry shorts: Mbappé, DAZN, AoC Sport, Basketball England

French football star Kylian Mbappé has been unveiled as a global ambassador for organic baby and children’s food brand Good Goût.

Mbappé, who plays for Paris Saint-Germain, will represent the Good Goût Kidz range, which will be in stores across Europe from the middle of June.

The partnership will initially run for two years. Mbappé and Good Goût will work on joint activities surrounding the launch of the 20-year-old’s upcoming foundation.

Beats by Dre’s Powerbeats Pro ‘Unleashed’

Beats by Dre has marked the launch of its new Powerbeats Pro wireless fitness headphones range with a new campaign spot directed by Hollywood filmmaker Hiro Murai.

British boxer Anthony Joshua, Chelsea footballer Eden Hazard, US women's football star Alex Morgan, basketball legend LeBron James, tennis ace Serena Williams and gymnast Simone Biles are just some of the superstars who feature in ‘Unleashed'.

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