Emirates to sponsor NBA in-season tournament

The NBA’s in-season tournament is being rebranded as the Emirates NBA Cup.

It’s part of a multi-year marketing partnership between global airline Emirates and the NBA, announced Thursday by the league. The deal also includes Emirates as the league’s first patch partner for NBA referee jerseys.

The inaugural in-season tournament was held last fall and won by the Los Angeles Lakers.

The jersey patches will debut on the shirts of NBA refs at the All-Star Game on Feb. 18. They will be added to the jerseys of the officials in the NBA G League in the 2024-25 season and in the WNBA in 2025.

“The NBA is a valuable addition to our sponsorship portfolio as it allows us to connect with a vast global fanbase, including in the U.S., where the game is an integral part of the country’s sport culture,” said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ group chairman and CEO, in a news release.

Emirates, based in Dubai, partners with several sports teams and events, including soccer’s AC Milan and Real Madrid, and the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. Its signage also will be seen in NBA arenas, on nationally televised games and at a variety of marquee league events, the league said.

Emirates airline passengers will have access to NBA entertainment programming, such as long-form documentaries and player profiles, on all flights.