The official product partnership between Nike and FIBA spans apparel, footwear and equipment.
Okay let’s be honest, Nike has already grown basketball around the world. It all began with the 92 Dream Team and since then the love of the sport abroad has been more impressive than it has been here at home. As a matter of fact when you take a moment to consider the World team beat Team USA (all NBA Players at a watered down All Star Weekend, but just go with it) the transition is basically complete.
The Greek Freak was amazing during the All Star Game and Kristaps Porzingis is officially the next great big man. What does the US offer right now as a comparison in the big man category? Anthony Davis who is no slouch, but if someone asked you who you would take to start a franchise Giannis or The Brow I’m thinking you would have to think long and very long to answer that question.
What’s worse is that the PG of the future is already here in Kyrie and he was actually born in Australia.
All right let me slow down and stop being so dramatic. The international game has been on the rise and this partnership will definitely contribute the support needed to make FIBA stronger, but of course this is also about Nike making sure to control the story being told in the location for the next FIBA championship.
“As part of the new agreement, both organizations will promote the game with marketing communication and engagement of top players and ambassadors. In the first phase, this consumer connection will focus on the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 to be played across eight cities in China.”
Sponsorships and investments in today’s climate have to hit several markers to be considered successful. Nike’s FIBA commitment checkmarks several major points of importance, improving international basketball sales to offset soft sales in the US, supporting the development and growth of the game as Nike takes over outfitting the NBA which is expanding its international set of games in the upcoming years, and getting a lead on marketing in China before the World Cup in 2019.