Beginning with the 2017-18 season, the NBA Development League (NBA D-League) will be renamed the NBA Gatorade League (NBA G-League), the NBA announced on Tuesday.
Basically, Gatorade has purchased rights to the name of the league. It’s a trend we are sure to see expand in the future and it can be best described as performance fuel meets marketing, meets optimum achievement meets the corporate athletic business model of the future. It's always easier and more lucrative to keep all services and ground-breaking discoveries pertaining to your corporation in house.
And The Gatorade Sports Science institute expands the beverage company's influence concerning the future of the NBA and professional sports.
Gatorade has a long history with the league and has been the league’s soft drink sponsor since 1984 and when the “Like Mike” commercials dropped in '92 it changed the way basketball was marketed forever.
The Gatorade Sports Science Institute will now have a group of the finest specimen of lab rats (also known as G-League players) to conduct a series of tests designed to help them maximize their performance and this will be the future of athletics as the NBA and Gatorade form a watershed partnership that begins to lead the way in making player development and enhancement more of a science.
The G-League was formed in 2001 as the National Basketball Development League but shortened its name to the D-League in 2005. The G-League is comprised of 22 teams. Three additional teams will be added in the 2017-18 season, bringing the league closer to a full 30-team farm system for the NBA.
Most NBA franchises currently have an exclusive relationship with a G-League squad, facilitating strong development programs for green players on assignment.
This is a true power move by Gatorade who not only has a lock on the NBA’s beverage bonanza, but now becomes an internal cog in the league’s wheel of fortune, pushing the limits and attempting to be the leading scientific entity on player enhancement.