Coinbase has signed a multi-year partnership with the National Basketball Association (NBA).
The deal was announced early on Tuesday and will extend to all of the NBA's assets and competitions, including the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), NBA G League, NBA2K League and USA Basketball.
The partnership marks the evolving relationship between sports and blockchain technology.
Commenting on this opportunity, Coinbase chief marketing officer Kate Rouch stated that the tie-up would make it possible for WNBA and NBA fans around the world to engage with new interactive experiences.
This marks a second big partnership for the NBA in the realm of blockchain after the association licensed its branding and intellectual property to Dapper Labs and their NBA Top Shot platform. Dapper Labs is expanding beyond the NBA too, through a recent tie-up with LaLiga.
NBA Top Shot is a solution that offers non-fungible tokens (NFTs) to fans, by capturing highlights from games and digitalizing them using a unique code that then serves as a deed of ownership to whoever has purchased the NFT to prove their exclusive ownership.
This is the first partnership between the NBA and a major crypto exchange, but hardly the first similar partnership in the major American leagues. In July, FTX and Major League Baseball (MLB) inked a similar partnership.
Meanwhile, Coinbase has launched its own NFT marketplace which has been rapidly signing up new consumers. It comes as daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings is looking to boost its own marketplace through a partnership with Polygon.
Coinbase may benefit from its access to NBA and leverage more NFT assets, although Dapper Labs will surely be a direct competitor.