By Barry Janoff
November 4, 2015: In a move that will have a significant impact across several platforms, Verizon Communications has signed a deal to become the official wireless provider of the NBA, which includes exclusivity to bring daily league highlights to Verizon's new mobile video streaming app, go90.
Under terms of the alliance, Verizon will become title partner for the NBA All-Star Slam Dunk, with the “Verizon Slam Dunk” contest to debut at NBA All-Star 2016 in Toronto; and presenting partner for the NBA All-Star Balloting Program.
Verizon also becomes a partner for the NBA Draft, NBA Summer League, Jr. NBA and USA Basketball.
In addition, Verizon will have a marquee partnership with the WNBA beginning with the 2016 season.
Financial details were not shared.
Sprint, the NBA's previous wireless partner, did not renew a four-year deal signed in 2011.
“There’s never been a more exciting time to be teaming with the NBA,” Diego Scotti, CMO for Verizon, said in a statement. “The NBA has rapidly evolved into a year-round digital experience that engages millions of young, cross cultural fans, in many interesting ways.
"We are always looking for new ways to add value for our customers, and this partnership creates great opportunities to do just that. We’re thrilled to bring exclusive and awesome content to go90 and to offer unprecedented access to unique experiences," said Scotti.
For marketing support, Verizon have will be integrated into NBA TV, NBA.com, the NBA App and other NBA Digital assets — which are jointly managed by the NBA and Turner Sports — along with national broadcast partners ABC, ESPN and TNT. In addition, Verizon said it would collaborate with multiple NBA teams.
Verizon's mobile video app go90 was unveiled last month with more than 8,000 titles and 35 exclusive original series available to users, the latter of which Verizon said "could double by the end of 2015."
Among other go90 deals are beIN Sports and Disney Co.'s Maker Studios, to include new series from the Marvel and Star Wars franchises, as well as Discovery, Scripps Networks and Viacom.
Verizon said that go90 would feature "extensive NBA content including daily highlights, original content and access to live out-of-market games through NBA League Pass."
In addition, go90 users will have access to exclusive NBA-related content and will be able to "Cut & Share" select clips and highlights via text (SMS), Facebook and Twitter.
The NBA and and Verizon said they would "collaborate on bringing a number of original exclusive series to the go90 platform, offering unique perspectives and voices from around the NBA."
According to Bill Koenig, president-global media distribution for the NBA, “Verizon has an outstanding reputation for reliability and innovation, and thanks to this new partnership the NBA will be able to connect with fans in places and ways we never have before.
"As one of the country’s leading mobile providers, we are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Verizon on their go90 platform to deliver a new mobile experience for NBA fans," said Koenig.
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