Kawhi Leonard with his New Balance shoe.

New Balance has made big strides since reentering the basketball shoe arena just over a year ago.

In November 2018, the Boston-based athletic brand signed a multiyear endorsement deal with two-time NBA Champion and two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard, proving its commitment to the sport. He had formerly had a deal with the Jordan brand.

And today, the National Basketball Association (NBA) acknowledged New Balance’s commitment, signing a new multiyear agreement with the brand that will make it an official marketing partner of the league.

New Balance will join the other athletic giants including Nike, which is the league’s official apparel partner, as well as Jordan Brand, Converse, Adidas, Reebok, Under Armour and Puma. Marketing partnerships allow the brands to use players in their official uniforms in their advertising materials, an NBA spokesperson explained.

New Balance officially reentered basketball when NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard walked on-court for the NBA All-Star Game in 2019,” said Chris Davis, vice president of global marketing at New Balance. “Now, one year later, we are excited to further solidify our position in the global basketball community by collaborating with the NBA as an official long-term, strategic partner in order to continue to enhance our position as a leading athletic brand. This relationship ingrains New Balance into the NBA’s global presence, a fandom and culture that transcends sport and is significantly larger than the game of basketball.”

The agreement offers New Balance the ability to broaden its reach across the league and with NBA fans. As part of the deal, New Balance will create authentic broadcast, digital and retail content featuring New Balance-sponsored athletes in their respective NBA uniforms and team logos.

The relationship will officially begin New Balance’s We Got Now global brand campaign featuring Leonard, that will air during the Denver Nuggets at L.A. Clippers game on Feb. 28 at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN.

“We are excited to welcome New Balance to our family of global partners,” said Dan Rossomondo, NBA’s senior vice president of media and business development. “We look forward to working with New Balance as the brand develops its basketball footprint and continues to establish itself in the market with recent high-profile player signings and new products.”

In addition to Leonard, the New Balance basketball roster features 2019 first-round NBA Draft pick Darius Bazley and 2016 first-round NBA Draft pick Dejounte Murray, who both wear the OMN1S shoe.

The privately held New Balance had sales in 2018 of $4.1 billion. The NBA has games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, and sells merchandise in more than 100,000 stores in 100 countries on six continents. Its rosters at the start of the 2019-20 season featured 108 players from 38 countries and territories.

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