CHICAGO—A familiar name is returning to the NBA next season.
Wilson Sporting Goods Co. has agreed to a multi-year partnership with the NBA to supply the official game ball beginning with the NBA's 75th anniversary season.
The ball will be introduced at the NBA Draft Combine June 21-27 and will be available to purchase on Wilson.com beginning July 29, the day of the NBA Draft.
Wilson supplied the game ball for NBA's first 37 seasons. Spalding had been the game ball supplier since 1983.
"Wilson is excited to unlock our history and heritage with the NBA to grow the game of basketball on the global stage," Wilson GM Kevin Murphy said in a news release. "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."
The Wilson ball feature 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, the company said. 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 NBA and Wilson logos in full grain pebbling, with the Wilson logo also including an anthracite inline.
"Our partnership with Wilson fittingly comes to life as we approach our 75th anniversary season," said Salvatore LaRocca, the NBA's president of 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."
Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young and Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray will serve on the first NBA Advisory Staff, testing and giving feedback on Wilson basketball products. Other advisory staff members include three-time WNBA All-Star Liz Cambage, FIBA 3×3 players Dusan Bulut and Migna Toure, skills coach Chris Brickley and tastemaker Beija Velez.