Google, NBA Sign Multiyear Marketing And Tech Partnership

Google has become the Official Search Trends Fan Insights Partner and Search Engine for the National Basketball Association (NBA), NBA G League and NBA 2K League in a multiyear partnership.

The multiyear NBA marketing and technology partnership means the company will teach the NBA how to use Google Trends, so it can identify real-time search data before, during and after games.

“We'll combine the best of Google’s Search trends, information, technology, devices and services to help fans go deeper and get closer to the culture, teams and players they love,” Lorraine Twohill, CMO at Google, wrote in a post. 

The NBA has been the top-searched sports league in the world since 2004, Twohill wrote. People who search for the NBA are more likely to search for social justice compared to any other professional sports league.

The new sponsorship includes rights in the mobile phone category. Google Pixel, which is scheduled to launch on Tuesday, becomes the Official Fan Phone and the presenting partner of the NBA Playoffs with integration into the league’s slate of nationally televised playoff games on ESPN and TNT, joining YouTube TV, which is the presenting partner of the NBA Finals.

Google's YouTube TV streaming service has been the presenting sponsor of the NBA Finals since 2018.

The deal does not include the ability to create licensed products, but Google can use NBA intellectual property on its packaging. Samsung was the last manufacturer with NBA cell handset rights. It signed a three-year sponsorship, with rights to the NBA, WNBA and G League in 2013.

Google became a WNBA Changemaker earlier this year by working with the WNBA and ESPN to increase visibility of women’s sports. The company helped to deliver 25 games on ABC and ESPN for the league’s twenty-fifth season and added a dedicated segment for women’s sports on ESPN’s SportsCenter. As a Changemaker, Google is committed to increase visibility and coverage of women’s sports.

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