A little more than six years after NBA players began wearing sponsored patches on their jerseys, NBA referees will do the same for the first time.
NBA officials will begin donning shirts with Emirates Airlines patches directly under the NBA logo on the left chest at the All-Star Game on Feb. 18, the league announced Thursday. Officials will continue wearing the Emirates patches when the NBA season resumes a few days later.
Meanwhile, G League referees will begin wearing the patches to start the 2024-25 campaign, and WNBA officials will start in the league’s 2025 season.
The referee patches were just a piece of the endorsement rollout for Emirates, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which in a multiyear deal officially becomes the NBA’s global airline partner. Emirates will also sponsor the NBA in-season tournament, which will be rebranded as the Emirates NBA Cup.