Sporting goods giant Nike reached an eight-year deal Wednesday to become the exclusive on-court apparel provider for the National Basketball Association (NBA). The contract takes effect starting during the 2017-2018 season, replacing a deal between the NBA and Adidas, which expires after the 2016-2017 season.
Nike has targeted basketball as a major growth business due in part to surging interest in the sport in major emerging economies, especially China. In 2014, Nike's revenues from basketball rose 19 percent to $3.1 billion, about 11 percent of total sales. Nike already sponsors many leading basketball stars, including LeBron James, who on Tuesday led the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 2-1 lead in the NBA finals against the Golden State Warriors.