NBA to rename In-Season Tournament to Emirates NBA Cup after airline’s sponsorship

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The NBA In-Season Tournament will now be known as the Emirates NBA Cup, as the title sponsor will be featured on patches added to the jerseys of referees.

Emirates is an airline run out of the United Arab Emirates and government-owned through a subsidiary. The company will also have sponsorship patches on NBA referees’ jerseys starting with this month’s All-Star Game. WNBA referees will wear the airline’s jersey patches at the start of the 2025 season. G League referees will have the patches at the start of next season.

This continues to broaden the relationship between the NBA and the UAE. The league held exhibition games there in October 2022.

USA Basketball, which receives millions in funding from the NBA, played two exhibition games in Abu Dhabi en route to the FIBA World Cup last summer. USAB’s payout for the week-long stay was worth eight figures, sources close to USAB said, and the Americans could be headed there again this summer for more exhibition games before the Olympics.

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(Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images)

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