NBA, AT&T Partner With Promise of Expanded 4K, VR, MR on Horizon

AT&T and the NBA announced a multi-year marketing partnership that may expand to include implementations of 4K, virtual reality, mixed reality, and other immersive technologies.

The agreement includes a wide range of activations, including the NBA, WNBA, G League, NBA 2K League, and USA Basketball. AT&T will become the headlining sponsor of the annual Slam Dunk contest, starting with this year’s event on Feb. 17.

Dan Rossomondo, NBA SVP for media and business development, said in a news release that AT&T would “help create unique experiences for the diverse fan bases represented across all of our leagues.”

AT&T acquired TimeWarner last year, and owns DirecTV, which already has broadcasts in 4K resolution. Both Intel and NextVR produce some games in VR. This new partnership could expand the use of those technologies.

“We look forward to working with one of the most iconic leagues in the world, deepening our connection with basketball fans who represent increasingly young, diverse, tech-centric and socially engaged audiences that are important to our company,” said Fiona Carter, AT&T chief brand officer, in a statement.  “Connecting with these audiences through a great brand like the NBA allows us to grow customer relationships and create more memorable experiences at a game, at home, or on the go.”

SportTechie Takeaway

The promise of bigger and greater partnerships between leagues and tech companies can only serve fans well. The incremental nationwide rollout of 5G networks will bolster the capacity for the NBA and AT&T to deliver on these new experiences.

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