Verizon to Promote NBA Marketing Pact via Go90 Video Service

Telco's sponsorship reportedly worth $400 million over three years

Verizon inked a mammoth exclusive sponsorship deal with the National Basketball Association — and to support it, the telco plans to funnel league-related content through its new Go90 wireless-video service.

The marketing deal is worth more than $400 million over three years, USA Today reported. (Reps for the NBA and Verizon declined to confirm the figures.) Under the terms of the deal, Verizon becomes the official wireless service provider of the NBA, as well as the WNBA, NBA Development League and USA Basketball.

Verizon’s Go90, which officially launched last month, will feature NBA content including daily highlights and some original content produced with the league. In addition, Go90 users will have the ability to purchase the NBA League Pass live out-of-market games package, but that part of the pact isn’t exclusive in any way.

Under its sponsorship deal, Verizon will become the title partner of the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk platform starting next year in Toronto. Also, the telco will become the presenting partner of the NBA All-Star Balloting Program and a partner of NBA Draft, NBA Summer League and the Jr. NBA.

Verizon branding will be integrated into NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and other NBA Digital assets — which are jointly managed by the league and Turner Sports — along with national broadcast partners ABC, ESPN and TNT. Additionally, Verizon will collaborate with individual NBA teams on marketing promotions.

“The NBA has rapidly evolved into a year-round digital experience that engages millions of young, cross cultural fans, in many interesting ways,” Verizon CMO Diego Scotti said in a statement. “We are always looking for new ways to add value for our customers, and this partnership creates great opportunities to do just that.”

Go90, available to any U.S. mobile user regardless of wireless carrier, includes a mix of licensed TV episodes, short-form clips and original programming. The service is targeted at millennials who are increasingly consuming more Internet video in lieu of traditional TV using mobile devices.

Verizon has inked content deals with partners including Viacom, Discovery, ESPN, CBS Sports, Vice Media, New Form Digital, Endemol Beyond USA and AwesomenessTV. The Go90 service is free and ad-supported, with additional subscription options like NBA League Pass planned down the line.

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