Basketball fans across the country are likely to be seeing way more of Samsung, as the Wall Street Journal reports that the Korean company has solidified a three-year, $100 million deal to bring tablets and televisions courtside.
According to WSJ‘s sources, Samsung will be the named “official provider” of NBA technology, providing officials with monitors to review calls during the game, as well as other technology such as providing team staffs with play-making tablets. In addition, the NBA is set to provide custom content for Samsung SmartTVs and tablets throughout the season. Neither company has formally commented on the deal.
The lucrative deal is one that Samsung has been inching towards for a while, eager to occupy the open spot left by Hewlett-Packard after a 2008 deal ran its course. Lebron James is a noted Samsung “ambassador,” particularly showing up in commercial spots for the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, and Jay-Z announced his partnership with the mobile company to release his album, Magna Carta Holy Grail, during the NBA finals. It’s also worth noting that the first NBA team to utilize tablets on the sidelines to run plays, the Phoenix Suns, did so with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet.
The deal provides both Samsung and NBA with exactly what they want: For the former, it gains long-term brand exposure towards an audience it has been trying to woo for years now, and for the latter, association with “cutting edge technology” not only helps individual teams but also makes the league as a whole seem technologically proficient.
More importantly, it’s likely that this won’t be the only sports-technology partnership brewing within the coming years. Teams from other sports, like the NFL’s Denver Broncos, have been eschewing the traditional playbook in favor of the tablet — leaving an open opportunity for a more substantial official partnership in the future.