NEW YORK, Dec. 10 – The National Basketball Association will become the first professional sports league to team up with The History Channel® to celebrate the league’s past with a series of retro games and multimedia programming as part of the league’s Hardwood Classics program, it was announced today at the NBA Store in New York City by NBA Commissioner David Stern and The History Channel Executive Vice President and General Manager Dan Davids. NBA legends Bill Walton and George Gervin were also on hand for the announcement.

Commissioner David Stern announces the league's deal with The History Channel, as NBA legend Bill Walton looks on.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images/NBAE
The History Channel has signed a multiyear deal to sponsor an NBA Hardwood Classics program that will include two NBA-produced, one-hour documentaries to air on The History Channel. The History Channel will also have a prominent presence in NBA TV programming, NBA Hardwood Classics merchandise, NBA.com’s History section and select Hardwood Classics Nights games – a series of retro games conducted by NBA teams that celebrates their past players, teams and prominent anniversaries. The new alliance begins rolling out immediately and will culminate for this season in the spring.

"The NBA has made a significant impact on not only the sports landscape, but on American culture," said Davids. "We are delighted to be teaming up with the NBA in recognizing their past by participating in an exciting marketing and programming partnership that will showcase the league’s contributions to history. In addition to providing unique promotional opportunities, The History Channel will also work with the NBA to produce a special program that we believe will have great appeal to The History Channel viewers and to the basketball fan in everyone."

"As the premier distributor of insightful historical programming, The History Channel will have the opportunity to draw on the NBA’s role in such societal issues as racial integration, AIDS and HIV education, as well as the chronicling of the rich history of our sport," said Commissioner Stern. "Our brands were drawn together by the public's fascination with the past -- from 'retro' merchandise to 'classic' games -- people today want to understand their connection to yesterday."

As part of the league agreement, The History Channel will enter into separate team deals to secure promotional elements during select Hardwood Classics Nights. The History Channel will also be the presenting sponsor of the "NBA TV Hardwood Classics" program – a weekly feature that features the greatest games in NBA history with commentary from the participants -- and a series of vignettes entitled 'Great Moments in NBA History."

The deal includes a prominent presence on NBA.com with preview pages of Hardwood Classics Nights games, incorporation into the NBA.com History Section and a new Historic Event feature page which will appear following record-breaking performances this season. The History Channel will also have branding on hangtags of Hardwood Classics Nights jerseys sold at retail.