The National Basketball Association (NBA) has replaced its long time partner Spalding with Wilson Sporting Goods Co. after the league announced that the Chicago based firm will produce its game balls in a multi-year global deal.
The partnership will start in the 2021-22 NBA season, whilst also covering the 2021-22 NBA G League season, 2021 NBA 2K League and the inaugural Basketball Africa League (BAL). Moreover, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) will also use Wilson balls, however, its collaboration will only begin in the 2022 season.
Kevin Murphy, General Manager, Wilson Basketball stated: “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.
“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.”
Spalding had made NBA’s basketballs for over 30 years, with the firm exclusively making its match balls from 1983.
Nevertheless, Wilson and the NBA have also had a long storied history together, as Salvatore LaRocca, NBA President of Global Partnerships explained: “This partnership with Wilson returns us to our roots as we plan for the future.
“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.”
Wilson’s new match balls will use the same materials, eight-panel configuration and performance specifications as the league’s current basketballs. The NBA and its players will also collaborate with the equipment manufacturer to develop and approve the new game ball.
Insider Insight: Wilson’s new partnership with the NBA will undoubtedly boost the equipment manufacturer’s reputation in America. The deal also provides the firm with global exposure, which will be enhanced with the collaboration officially starting on the NBA’s 75th anniversary season.