The NBA Development League today announced that it will be re-named the NBA Gatorade League beginning with the 2017-18 season, the first pro sports league in the United States to brand itself after a sponsor. The shortform “D-League” will also be changed officially to “G-League”.
The deal also includes players and teams collaborating with the sports drink company and their Gatorade Sports Science Institute to enhance player performance and recovery.
“The NBA Development league has had a long history of being a testing laboratory for the NBA,” Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum noted during the introductory video. “The NBA D-League has prepared hundreds of players for the NBA and Gatorade has always been focused on fuelling players to perform at the highest level.”
“It goes way beyond just calling it the ‘Gatorade League’, the essence of what the Gatorade League stands for is how do we create the next level of sports performance?” said Gatorade Senior VP Brett O’Brien. “This expansion of our NBA partnership is a great opportunity to not only work with the elite athletes of the NBA G-League, but also continue to lead the evolution of basketball performance.”
A new logo was introduced, now black-and-white the silhouette showing a player mid-dunk has changed slightly and Gatorade’s “G” logo with an orange lightning bolt has been added to the bottom right corner.
The NBA D-League was launched in 2001 as an official minor league for the NBA and its teams. Since that first season the league has grown from eight teams in 2001-02 to twenty-five for the upcoming 2017-18 season.