Boston, MA, July 2, 2020 – The Basketball Tournament (TBT) today announced its partners for this year’s event, which takes place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, from July 4-14 on the ESPN networks. All three of TBT’s partners in 2019 — PUMA, Zelle® and Air Force Reserve — will return in 2020. The seven new partners include E&J Gallo, FanDuel, American Eagle, Addaday, Vault Health, Ready and OhioHealth.
“We wouldn’t be playing this summer without the support of our partners,” TBT founder and CEO Jon Mugar said. “Not only in terms of their financial support but also their moral support throughout these past several months. This group has been nothing but supportive from Day 1, and we feel a tremendous sense of appreciation and loyalty to them for it. Basketball fans across the world have them to thank for enabling the first live basketball broadcasts since March 12.”
PUMA, a partner since 2018, begins the first of a new three-year agreement with TBT this summer. It will continue to design team uniforms and all official TBT gear and have creative ownership of the Nationwide Arena court. As it did in 2019, Zelle will continue as the Official Payment Partner of TBT and be responsible for disbursing TBT’s $1-million prize to the winning team right after the championship game on July 14. The presenting partner for the Wichita Regional in 2019, Air Force Reserve will have a jersey patch prominently featured on all 24 teams in TBT’s field this year.
With the E&J Brandy sponsorship comes a partnership with the National Urban League. Together, TBT and E&J will be working to raise awareness and support of the historic civil rights organization and providing a $100,000 donation.
“We as an organization are passionate about what the National Urban League stands for,” said Brandon Lieb of E&J Gallo. “While we want to give our support monetarily, we feel it’s even more important to provide them with a platform to amplify their message. Our partnership with TBT is allowing us to do just that.”
Addaday will issue recovery equipment for all TBT players, including percussion massage guns, massage chairs and foam rollers. To make up for this year’s tournament being a fanless event, American Eagle will assist with bringing the fan experience to all TBT game broadcasts on ESPN. For the first time, FanDuel will create daily paid fantasy contests specifically for TBT.
“After months of disruption to sports and exercise, Addaday is committed to helping everyone move at their best again – none more so than the athletes competing in The Basketball Tournament,” said Hugh Williams, president of Addaday. “The high demands players place on their bodies require the best tools and technology to help them bounce back game after game – so we’re delighted that TBT selected Addaday as its Official Recovery Tool Partner.”
On the health safety front, Vault Health is serving as TBT’s testing partner, providing and administering COVID-19 saliva tests to all players and personnel inside TBT’s “Inner Island.” OhioHealth also will provide medical staffing to monitor the well-being of TBT participants, as well as athletic trainers to tend to players’ pre and postgame needs.