FIBA appoints IMG as FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023’s global master licensee

FIBA, the International Basketball Federation, has appointed IMG, a global leader in sports, events, media and fashion, as global master licensee of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, taking place 25 August – 10 September 2023 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. This is the first time in the history of the competition that multiple countries will host the global tournament, which will feature 32 national teams.

The quadrennial tournament, which is the International Basketball Federation’s flagship men’s event, has grown exponentially since the first event in 1950, with a record 32 national teams (increased from 24) competing in 2019 in host country China, across eight cities, where Spain were crowned champions for the second time.

The multi-year deal will see IMG work with FIBA to develop an extensive range of merchandising products celebrating the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. A broad line of products featuring the event logo, its brand identity and marks, the Naismith Trophy, the mascot and the host countries collection will be available for fans in a variety of items, sizes and colours. The programme will include products in key licensing categories such as apparel, toys and games, souvenirs, accessories, stationery, homeware, bags and luggage, and more.

These items will be available on-site at official promotional events in the lead-up to the World Cup and at all five venues hosting the 2023 competition, as well through other promotional and FIBA partner activities during the event. They will also be available at official fan shops and retailers in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia and via the official online store.

David Crocker, FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 Executive Director, says: “The Global Master Licensee is an important component in the build-up to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 and the road to the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. Basketball fans are very passionate, and we want their World Cup experience to be engaging, memorable and exciting, and one they will never forget.”

Bruno Maglione, President of Licensing at IMG, adds: “The FIBA Basketball World Cup is the pinnacle global event of one of the world’s most popular sports. Basketball at the national team level has grown increasingly competitive with an ever-widening number of countries having a realistic chance to win the top prize – generating more passion, excitement and fan engagement. We will capitalise on that, working with FIBA to create an all-encompassing merchandise and retail programme for fans in all three host countries, as well as those tuning in from around the world.”

For more information on licensing opportunities, visit

Start-up sports lifestyle brand Round21 is on a mission to redefine the category

A start-up sports lifestyle brand developed by the former professional athlete, Jasmine Maietta, is looking to redefine the category through a combination of arts and sports while championing inclusive multi-cultural artists and product design.

Called Round21, the brand aims to celebrate creative expression through sport and art by creating premium sports products that are designed in partnership with a portfolio of multicultural artists.

As part of the launch, round21 will release a new artfully inspired Origin ping pong paddle and a For the Love of Sport basketball backboard.

Led by the ex-vice president of global brand marketing at Peloton, and former professional basketball player, Maietta’s round21 is on a mission to redefine the sports lifestyle category.

 “Inside all of us, there’s originality and creativity. That’s the currency round21 values. We build products for and with people who live creatively in sport and in life,” she said. 

Maietta left her impressive career in marketing to start round21 after recognising the need for a sports lifestyle brand that champions individuality, inclusivity, and creativity. In her years on and off the court, Maietta noticed that many professional and amateur athletes’ self-expression was limited to their apparel and footwear.

What was core to an athlete’s identity – their game itself – remained a blank canvas. Whether it was on the court or during downtime playing ping pong in locker rooms, she believed the things we play with should say something about who we are.  

 “I founded round21 for people who are rich in ‘creative currency,’ and one way people express themselves is through sports,” said Maietta. “We believe that when people feel free to express themselves and come together through play, communities become stronger. And, we see the opportunity to empower deep, rich creative expression within sports.”   

In addition to scaling its product offering, Maietta is scaling her executive team as well. The company welcomed Joe Sargent, the former director of brand marketing of the Kansas City Chiefs, as the head of strategic marketing to spearhead strategic brand marketing initiatives, activation strategy, and planning. 

 “One of my goals has been to put my brand and lifestyle marketing and partnership experience into a start-up that is not only disrupting the industry but also laying the foundation for something new and lasting,” said Sargent. “This is an awesome opportunity to do just that. I’m excited to help round21 reach new heights and redefine recreation as we know it.” 

 Last summer, the NBA and teams like the Detroit Pistons partnered with round21 to provide customized ping pong paddles for players quarantined during Covid-19 in the NBA Bubble. And, during the brand’s initial Kickstarter in late fall 2020, it exceeded its funding goal by 187 per cent in just 76 hours.  

The brand kicked off the year with a highly anticipated collaboration with artist and sneaker customizer, Sierato. The Baltimore native partnered with round21 to bring his unique flair to a new canvas – a ping pong paddle and a basketball backboard.

Inspired by connective chemistry and the fluidity of creativity, the vibrant “REC Set” was designed to bring people together through sport with products that come alive and inspire. The round21xSierato REC set was released on January 21, exclusively on the NTWRK app.  

While many sports products are “blank” and “functional,” round21 gives identity to the player through expressive art that reflects who they are and what they value. All of round21’s products are highly crafted and uniquely designed by leading multicultural creatives and artists who believe artistry in sport is about meaning and storytelling, not simply decoration.