The NBA's next provider for courtside electronics will be none other than Samsung, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal today. Sources familiar with the three-year deal value it at $100 million, with Samsung providing its tablets and TVs for use by NBA coaches, players, and referees during games. That'll be the core of the arrangement, however additional collaboration — such as the NBA customizing video content for Samsung devices — and the inevitable brand exposure during primetime games will also be highly valuable to the Korean company.
Samsung has pursued an aggressive US marketing strategy, which in the basketball realm has included an endorsement form LeBron James and a prominent Jay-Z ad during the NBA Finals. Moreover, the present agreement with the league builds on what must be deemed a successful partnership between Samsung and the Phoenix Suns, wherein Galaxy Tabs were provided to assist the Suns' staff in their daily duties.
Refs will review decisions on Samsung monitors while coaches draw up plays on Galaxy Tabs
Though securing the entire NBA as a client will be a major coup for Samsung, the Android tablet maker must surely be anxious to break into another, potentially even more lucrative market: the NFL. Numerous gridiron squads, including the Baltimore Ravens and Denver Broncos, have already transitioned their enormous playbooks into iPad apps, but there's still ample opportunity for the Korean chaebol to make its mark.
Update: As expected, Samsung and the NBA have made the marketing and technology partnership official, turning Samsung into "the official handset, tablet, and television of the NBA."