After looking for a sponsor since 2014, NBA's Development League will cement its partnership with sports drink maker Gatorade by renaming the "D-League" to the "G-League", with G standing for Gatorade.
This marks the first time a US professional sports league has named an entitlement partner.
Gatorade senior vice president and general manager Brett O'Brien talked about several examples of how his company's science expertise will be used in the D-League, including testing for a player's sweat type and amount, if they are a fat burner or carbohydrate burner, recovery advances and joint health.
"The NBA Development League has had a long history as being a testing laboratory, if you will, for the NBA, and today, we're announcing the NBA Development League will be now become the NBA Gatorade League", Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said in a video promoting the announcement.
Believe it or not, the 2007 D-League champions actually gave their coach a Gatorade shower.
The issue is whether fans will be interested in following a league that's so aggressively sponsored. But, then again, Nascar remains a very popular sport despite commercialization that makes the G-League sponsorship look tame. "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".
Beyond the new logos that will be forthcoming on game balls and team jerseys for the league's 25 teams, or the signage on the court and online, it's the Gatorade Sports Science Institute that's the epicenter of their excitement.
The league that was created to develop National Basketball Association players has often been used as a testing ground for everything from rule changes to wearable devices. And if they were really smart, players should get in on this action, just to see Vander Blue Gatorade's name in lights.