The National Basketball Association and Samsung Electronics (SSNLF.PK) are partnering up again, and this time, Samsung’s technology will take front and center on the basketball court.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the South Korean company has signed a $100 million deal with the NBA to supply its officials with courtside monitors that can be employed to review close calls. Samsung already is the NBA’s official provider of tablets and televisions, but now the tech company wants to be closer to the action, and that’s why it signed a three-year agreement with the Association to put its products directly on the court.
The deal directly benefits both parties, as the two organizations are both looking to expand their global reach and basketball officials can improve their calls by employing the new technology. However, the agreement especially reflects a significant advantage for Samsung, because the Seoul-based company competes fiercely with the likes of other tech giants like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), and it can use the facetime on the basketball court to set itself apart from rivals and develop its ecosystem of unique offerings.
According to the Journal, the tie-up also reflects Samsung’s larger ambition to offer exclusive software and services to customers to strengthen its users’ loyalty and generate excitement about its devices. The NBA gets millions of viewers each season, and Samsung understands that when the first tip off occurs this week, it can benefit from its devices to be courtside.
Before Samsung, the NBA partnered with Chinese appliance maker Haier Group and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE:HPQ). The tech company also already won over the attention of Miami Heat forward LeBron James, and Brooklyn Nets owner Jay Z, as both men were featured in Samsung commercials that helped promote its Galaxy smartphones. This time around, the South Korean company isn’t working to advertise its monitors as much as prove Samsung’s expanded reach, but the NBA’s trust of its technology still doesn’t hurt its cause.
Now, basketball fans will again be able to see what Samsung has to offer courtside, and now we’ll just have to see if they can help refs make the right calls.