The NBA and Marvel announced Monday that the two sides had reached a deal to launch a collection of merchandise featuring NBA logos and colors along with characters from Marvel properties on co-branded apparel and accessories.
The line will launch at the NBA's All-Star Weekend and will feature Marvel characters on team gear (Spider-Man on a New York Knicks sweatshirt, Iron Man on a Los Angeles Lakers cap, The Hulk on a Boston Celtics basketball, etc).
Quoted in the Associated Press, Lisa Piken, senior director of appareling for the NBA, said the company's history of comics gears toward children and young kids, and we like that as well, particularly the teamwork and having superpowers (and) we can tie that back to how our players are.
This is the second such partnership between Marvel and a professional sports league. The brand and the NHL recently teamed up on The Guardian Project, in which each team was given a comic book superhero type for their mascot, with a comic book tie-in being produced for each team as well.
The Guardian Project was widely criticized by fans and many in the media, but may still prove to be a success. However, there doesn't seem to be much more to this partnership than the NBA co-opting several Marvel properties' popularity in an attempt to sell t-shirts. As Yahoo! Sports' Eric Freeman puts it: this tie-in exists.