By Barry Janoff
October 5, 2015: The NBA has used the 24-second shot clock since 1954, but has never had an official time-keeping deal.
However, as The Chambers Brothers sang in their 1968 classic, the "Time Has Come Today" for a change.
The NBA now has an official timekeeping partner via a new multi-year pact with Swiss watchmaker Tissot, which also encompasses the WNBA and the NBA Development League.
Tissot, a division of the Swatch Group, said this would be its first official timekeeping partnership with a major North American sports league and the largest partnership in the company's more than 160-year history.
Financial terms of the pact were not released. Industry analysts put the deal at $200 million for six years.
To support the alliance, Tissot said it would "make investments across all NBA teams and league broadcast partners" and work on a global basis with the NBA through events, marketing media and NBA-themed creative and advertising.
The alliance begins this week during the NBA's Global Games. This season, Tissot also becomes the official timekeeper and official watch of marquee events including NBA All-Star, NBA Draft presented by State Farm and the Samsung NBA Summer League.
Longer term, Tissot said it would work with the NBA to develop a "state-of-the-art integrated timing system."
According to the company, "new precision timekeeping system, inclusive of Tissot-branded shot clocks," will be implemented across all 29 NBA arenas beginning with the 2016-17 NBA season.
Tissot already has an association with the league via a deal with guard Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs (pictured above), in addition to one with the International Basketball Assn. (FIBA).
Tissot's endorsement roster also include race car driver Danica Patrick, pro motorcycle racer Nicky Hayden and actress Deepika Padukone.
Its deals with sports leagues and associations include MotoGP, the International Ice Hockey Assn., UCI Cycling, the Australian Football League and the FIM Superbike World Championship.
"In basketball every second — or even tenth of a second — can be critical, and this new partnership with Tissot will bring state-of-the-art timing technology to every NBA arena," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement. "We are proud to partner with Tissot, a world-class brand with a long history of developing innovative and dependable timekeeping systems."
Under terms of the deal, Tissot would receive global league licensing rights for timepieces, watches, clocks and watch accessories for all NBA teams. In turn, Tissot would provide support for the partnership at its retail stores worldwide.
According to Tissot president François Thiébaud, "Tissot is very proud to join the NBA and to be able to create a bond with the players and the fan. The emotions and the spirit behind the sport will further translate into our products. Our daily work is to dress time. We create pieces of beauty and accuracy but above all of emotionality and that is what sport, and more particularly the NBA, is about."
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