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(Aug. 1, 2001) -- The National Basketball Association and Reebok International Ltd. today announced a 10-year strategic partnership in which Reebok will have the exclusive rights to supply and market all on-court apparel for the NBA, Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the National Basketball Development League (NBDL), the NBA's new minor league.

A staffer in the NBA office estimated the deal to be worth in the $200 million to $250 million range, or roughly what Reebok recently paid the National Football League for a similar licensing arrangement. Reebok is currently the apparel supplier for 11 NBA teams. Beginning in the 2004-2005 season, it will be on-court with all 29 teams.

The company also plans to design and develop a collection of basketball shoes with the NBA brand and logo. Reebok Chairman and CEO Paul Fireman said the shoes will reflect a variety of prices in order to reach all aspects of the market.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said the league will continue its association with companies such as Nike and Champion. But, with few exceptions, Reebok will also have the exclusive rights to design, manufacture, market and sell headwear, T-shirts and other apparel. -- Rich Thomaselli

Copyright August 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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