The Harlem Globetrotters has signed a deal with IMG to expand its consumer products offering in preparation for its centennial celebration in 2026.

Through the collaboration, IMG will tap into the rich history of the iconic brand to create a range of offerings such as toys, collectibles and memorabilia as well as publishing ventures and video games. 

Additionally, IMG aims to secure an official outfitter and footwear partner to propel the Harlem Globetrotters forward into its next ‘century’.

Bruno Maglione, President of IMG’s licensing business, said: “I can’t count the number of “firsts” that have marked the history of the Harlem Globetrotters, not least of which its dazzling style of play which anticipated by many years the dynamism we see from the best players in the modern NBA.”

The Harlem Globetrotters holds a distinctive and cherished position within the American sports and entertainment realm, as well as in the narrative of African-American integration into mainstream professional sports in the United States.

Maglione added: “From the largest attendance ever at a basketball game, to iconic players like Wilt Chamberlain, to being the only team ever admitted to the Basketball Hall of Fame, the richness of its legacy is unparalleled and more relevant than ever. 

“We will be looking both forward and back as we celebrate the story of this legendary franchise with products and brand partners.” 

Before the NBA welcomed its first Black players in 1950, the Globetrotters had already spent a quarter-century touring across the nation. Its significance was further solidified in 1948 and 1949 when it astounded audiences by defeating the reigning world champions, the Minneapolis Lakers, in actual games. 

These victories not only showcased its showmanship, but also underscored its basketball talent, demonstrating an ability to compete against and beat the world’s top teams.

“The Harlem Globetrotters continues to lead and redefine global basketball culture. With its athleticism, exceptional skills, unique brand of humour, and their ability to connect with cultures around the globe it has inspired millions and ushered in an irreplicable brand of sports entertainment that’s beloved by all,” Keith Dawkins, President of Harlem Globetrotters & Herschend Entertainment Studios, commented.

“As we approach our 100year anniversary in 2026, our partnership with IMG will be instrumental in deepening our connection with fans, new and old, around the world.”

IMG has partnered with various sporting organisations so far this year, from the Professional Triathletes Organisation to the French sports media brand L’Equipe, as well as others. The global sports, events and representation company aims to grow these established brands to new heights.

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