Apple-owned Beats By Dre is now the NBA's official headphones partner

Basketball star LeBron James wearing Beats By Dre headphones
NBA | Beats By Dre

Headphone company Beats By Dre has become the official partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in a multi-year deal that will see products provided to basketball stars such as LeBron James, Jayson Tatum and Karl-Anthony Towns.

The marketing and merchandising partnership, which starts in October, will extend to individual NBA teams and branded headphones will be available for fans, the two organizations said in an online statement on Wednesday.

Beats was founded by rapper Dr Dre (Andre Young) and music producer Jimmy Iovine in 2006 and was bought by Apple in a $3 billion deal in 2014.

The two organizations also launched a 30-second ad on YouTube, featuring James, Tatum and Towns as well as Draymond Green, Ben Simmons and James Harden. Fans should also expect collaborations at events such as the NBA All-Star in February, NBA Draft in June and games in China and Europe.

Players are often seen wearing Beats headphones as they warm up, while hip-hop and basketball are increasingly linked. "Basketball, music, and style speak as one voice: Julius Erving became a style icon, Allen Iverson cemented hip hop's place on and off the court and LeBron James is breaking new music every day," said Luke Wood, President of Beats by Dr. Dre, in an online statement.

The NBA and Beats did not disclose the value of the deal, but the NBA is set to attract an estimated $1.12 billion in sponsorship deals for the 2017-2018 season, according to research firm IEG, breaking the $1 billion mark for the first time and up from $861 million in the previous season.

Jersey sponsorship of individual teams costs an average of $6.5 million, making a total of $137 million according to IEG.