NBA 2K League and National Basketball Players Association strike marketing partnership

08 September 2023


NBPA NBA 2K League
(ESI Illustration) Image credit: NBPA, NBA 2K League

Professional basketball esports league NBA 2K League has announced a marketing partnership with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA).

As a result, NBA players will be able to participate in various marketing activations to promote the NBA 2K League.

ESI London 2024

In a press release, the NBA 2K League announced that the new partnership aims to increase awareness of the league among the NBA fanbase. NBA players can now promote the league through activations related to the esports league, such as team promotions with Players.

The NBA 2K League is a professional esports league for the basketball sports simulation franchise NBA 2K. Co-founded in 2018 by the National Basketball Players Association (NBA) and Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., the league features 25 franchises. In the past, NBA 2K League has partnered with several notable companies, including Google, AT&T and Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Since its foundation in 1954, the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) unionises current professional basketball players in the NBA. Its mission is to support the rights of NBA players, represent their will, and help them positively impact sports and society on a global scale.

The partnership between the NBA 2K League and the NBPA was facilitated by THINK450, the for-profit subsidiary of the NBPA. THINK450 is responsible for the licensing rights of NBA’s 450 players. Moreover, the subsidiary develops innovative partnerships, aligning the interests of brands, players, and fans.

Josh Goodstadt, Chief Commercial Officer of THINK450, commented on the partnership with the NBA 2K League: “We are thrilled to team up with the NBA 2K League to bring new opportunities for our players to engage and interact with a game that so many of them love.

This first-of-its-kind partnership between a players’ association and an esports league reflects our players’ passion for gaming and we are excited to begin to bring it all to life this coming season.”

This partnership is not the only major business collaboration in the basketball esports ecosystem as of late. The NBA 2K League signed a multiyear partnership with the International Basketball Association (FIBA) in June. One month later, NBA 2K’s developer announced One Up as its official on-demand esports platform for the franchise in a multiyear deal.

Lea Maas
Lea is a business student with too many passions and too little time. In addition to missing her shots in Valorant, she spends her free time advocating for mental health awareness and fostering inclusive esports communities.