Samsung and NBA team up for $100 million deal (Updated)

by: Bogdan PetrovanOctober 28, 2013

nba referee Keith Allison

Samsung and the National Basketball Association are reportedly partnering in a three-year deal that will put Samsung tablets and TVs courtside at every game. The Wall Street Journal reports that the $100 million deal will have coaches using Samsung tablets for explaining tactics, while referees will judge close calls on Samsung TVs.

Previously, the NBA had similar deals with HP and Haier. The move will make Samsung one of the most prominent brands in NBA, giving it visibility during some of the most critical moments of the game.

But the benefits of the multi-million dollar deal will span beyond improved brand visibility. The NBA is also reportedly going to put out content that is customized for Samsung’s devices, including Smart TVs, allowing the Korean giant to further differentiate its offerings.

The deal serves to highlight Samsung’s massive marketing firepower. Samsung Electronics, which makes the bulk of its profits from mobile devices, had a marketing budget of $11 billion in 2012. In the US alone, the company spent $400 million on advertising in the same year, 20 percent more than the runner-up Apple.

Samsung has previously collaborated with basketball star LeBron James to promote the Galaxy Note 2, and with rap icon and former owner of Brooklyn Nets Jay Z to sell the Galaxy S4 in a $20 million sponsorship deal.

Updated with official press release:

Show Press Release

Samsung Telecommunications America and the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced a comprehensive multiyear marketing and technology partnership that will enhance the game and deepen the fan experience.


Samsung is now the official handset, tablet, and television provider of the NBA, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), and NBA Development League (NBA D-League). Samsung will reach fans of all three leagues through a wide array of assets, including marquee league events, television and digital exposure, and customized content available on Samsung devices. The collaboration represents Samsung’s most extensive partnership with a North American sports league and the NBA’s most extensive partnership with a consumer electronics company.


“With this partnership Samsung and the NBA are committed to elevating the future of the game with innovative product and service solutions for the players, coaches, referees and fans.” said Todd Pendleton, Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung Telecommunications America. “With these new experiences players will be able to take their game to the next level while fans will be able to engage in new ways with their favorite teams and players.”


“More than ever, NBA fans are connecting with our game across mobile devices, tablets, and televisions, and Samsung’s world-renowned products will bring them closer to the game,” said Mark Tatum, NBA Executive Vice President, Global Marketing Partnerships.


Samsung’s extraordinary commitment across the NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League will impact our game both on and off the court.”


Samsung’s ecosystem of consumer electronics will be integrated into the league and will provide fans with new ways to experience the game through custom content and services that will be introduced throughout the partnership. For the first time, NBA referees will be provided with Samsung tablets and will use Samsung technology courtside in all NBA arenas to review key plays throughout the season. The NBA will also use Samsung devices during key league events including NBA All-Star, the NBA Playoffs, The Finals, and the NBA Draft presented by State Farm. Samsung and the NBA will also offer a wide range of NBA content including NBA LEAGUE PASS (on an authenticated basis for those already subscribing to the league’s live game product), daily video recaps of games, expert analysis and commentary, NBA TV’s NBA Inside Stuff, and more.


Samsung will serve as the title partner of NBA Summer League, a showcase of the league’s most talented young players held every summer in Las Vegas, and will be an associate partner of NBA All-Star Jam Session, the 2014 Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and the NBA Draft presented by State Farm. Additionally, Samsung will have a significant presence on NBA national game telecasts on ABC, ESPN, and TNT, along with NBA Digital properties NBA TV,, and NBA Mobile. It will also be the presenting partner of NBA TV’s NBA Inside Stuff.


Additionally, Samsung will be the presenting partner of the NBA D-League Showcase and the title partner of the WNBA Performance Awards, which include the Most Valuable Player, Sixth Woman of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, and Defensive Player of the Year.

  • Luka Mlinar

    Samsung is breaking records this year. Selling a ton of phones. In the meantime Motorola also spent half a billion in advertising and how much did they sell?

    • pops87

      Don’t forget, moto is owned by Google now. Half a bil is grocery money as far as Big G is concerned.

    • Mozaik

      Samsung biggest strength is that it has good hold in Asian market whereas Motorola only sell its phones in America.

      • RanRu

        I would say Samsung’s biggest strength is that if any of their phones flop, they make so many other products (TVs, cameras, computers, refrigerators, ovens, etc.) that it’s not all that significant. HTC and Motorola don’t have that luxury.

        • Luka Mlinar

          Samsung is making most of it’s cash trough phones. A fail there would set them back just as much as anyone.

      • Luka Mlinar

        Not really. Chinese phones are dominating the Asian market. Nokia is still strong in India since a 100$ Android phone doesn’t really work. America is split between Samsung and Apple and as i understanding Samsung is slowly getting larger there since Apple keep releasing the same phone year after year. Europe is pretty much split between the major Android manufacturers and Samsung has a strong grasp there. They make shit quality phone but are surprisingly balanced and lack major flaws that other phones have. BTW i’m not a fan of Samsung, far from it.

    • needa

      not that anyone knows how well they are selling. they are building the heck out of the phones non stop. three shifts and seven days a week. and have yet to expand to the uk. so someone is obviously buying them. i know my serial number jumped 440k inside of three weeks.

      aside from that. samsung selling more phones only means the public has no clue as to what quality really is.

      • frankie

        or that they are offering phones for everybody’s budget. can you say the note series has low quality?

  • TeeJay1100

    Samsung is making history and money. People can say what they want about Samsung but they put their money where their mouth is by taking risk in the smartphone arena, marketing the their products, and striking deals in the sports arena. This deal with be the beginning of many to come for this company!!

    • needa

      taking risks? i dont buy it. maybe if they didnt spend their first few years cloning apple, i would agree. but that is where the biggest risks would have been taken imo. dont get me wrong, i love their products…. outside of the smartphone industry. it just seems like nowadays… they can put out anything and people like you will sop it up. things like a 100m advertising deal with the nba. this is absolutely nothing special. they give the nba brand new products. give the nba a little bit of cash. and they get their name plastered all over everything. yet you act like its the second coming of christ.

      • TeeJay1100

        100 million is more than you got, so stop acting angry & jealous. People like me, u don’t know me.

  • Bone

    Samsung can’t go wrong these days. Some of the best devices, innovations, PR choices and ads, one must feel there are still rounds to go before reaching their peak.

    • frankie

      well they have been hit with a lot of negative press lately, but thats just it is i guess…..