CHICAGO, ILLINOIS (June 17, 2021) — Wilson Sporting Goods Co., in partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA), unveiled the league’s new official game ball in advance of the NBA’s 75th anniversary season. The reveal tips off a multiyear partnership, welcoming the NBA’s first official basketball manufacturer – Wilson – back to the game.
The Wilson NBA official game ball is comprised of the same materials, eight-panel configuration and performance specifications as the league’s current game balls and sources the same leather currently used in the NBA. Over the past year, the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) worked jointly with Wilson to develop and approve the new game ball through team evaluation sessions. The game ball features the iconic NBA and Wilson logos in full grain pebbling, with the Wilson logo also including an anthracite inline.
“Wilson is excited to unlock our history and heritage with the NBA to grow the game of basketball on the global stage,” said Kevin Murphy, General Manager, Wilson Team Sports. “On the heels of launching our WNBA and BAL (Basketball Africa League) partnerships, we will continue building for the future of the sport. Wilson will focus first on supporting the league and its players with its high-performance game balls, then extending our basketball family to reach fans, coaches and players at all levels, around the world.”
“Our partnership with Wilson fittingly comes to life as we approach our 75th anniversary season,” said Salvatore LaRocca, NBA President, Global Partnerships. “As the NBA’s official game ball for the league’s first 37 seasons, Wilson makes its return building on our shared history and looking ahead toward the continued growth of the league.”
Wilson’s NBA official game ball will make its on-court debut at the Microsoft Surface NBA Draft Combine 2021, scheduled to take place June 21-27. The game ball will be available for purchase exclusively on wilson.com in the U.S. beginning July 29, in alignment with the NBA Draft 2021 presented by State Farm. Additional NBA-licensed Wilson products will be made available through key retail partners globally including NBAStore.com, Amazon and others throughout the summer.
To coincide with the game ball reveal, Wilson introduced its first NBA Advisory Staff members – 2020 NBA All-Star Trae Young and 2016 first-round NBA Draft pick Jamal Murray. As official Wilson Advisory Staff members, Young and Murray will playtest, provide feedback and collaborate on Wilson basketball products.
“Joining Wilson’s Advisory Staff was such a natural fit for me,” said Young. “I’ve been using their basketballs since I was a kid – from hooping in my driveway to playing throughout college. It’s exciting to see Wilson return to the NBA, and for me to have a voice in how they show up both on and off the court.”
Young and Murray join a growing roster of Wilson Basketball Advisory Staff members, including three-time WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage, FIBA 3×3 stars Dušan Bulut and Migna Touré, renowned skills coach Chris Brickley and tastemaker Beija Velez, with more players expected to be announced as the season approaches.
Wilson’s partnership milestones with the NBA will continue to roll out throughout 2021 with announcements and activations across the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League, NBA 2K League and Basketball Africa League (BAL) and into the NBA’s 75th anniversary season.