LOS ANGELES – A CBD producer is set to become an official sponsor of professional basketball.
BIG3, a three on three professional basketball league founded by rapper Ice Cube and entertainment executive Jeff Kwatinetz has signed a deal with cbdMD as a marketing partner. cbdMD produces a line of hemp-derived CBD products including oils, gummies, topicals, and tinctures. cbdMD’s logo will be included on a patch on the jerseys of all twelve BIG3 teams.
Both BIG3 and cbdMD could be timing the partnership just right. For a new sports league, BIG3 has considerable star power with former NBA players on its team’s rosters as well as coaches and executives running operations.
Momentum for CBD use in professional sports has also been increasing lately. Former NFL players such as Eugene Monroe and Ricky Williams as well as former NBA star Al Harrington have not only advocated for its use but have joined the cannabis industry.
BIG3 seems to be reading tea leaves when it comes to the future of CBD and recovery for athletes. “Last year, BIG3 became the first professional sports league in the U.S to allow players to use CBD for pain treatment and recovery,” Jeff Kwatinetz said in a statement.
American sports leagues, most notably the NFL, have come under scrutiny for allowing and even encouraging players to use addictive opioids to recovery from pain and injury but suspend players for CBD and THC use. Many NFL players have battled opioid addiction both during and after their playing careers and abuse the medication at higher rates than the general population.
Kwatinetz sees CBD as a much safer alternative to prescription opioids.
“We did this out of compassion for our guys because CBD can help them without enhancing their performance or having an intoxicating effect. It’s a win-win,” Kwatinetz said.
Ken Cohn, chief marketing officer for cbdMD, was pleased to be joining BIG3 as a sponsor.
“Today is a monumental day for cbdMD, as we continue to add to our list of firsts within the CBD category,” Cohn said. “Our BIG3 partnership will deliver a massive level of cbdMD brand exposure throughout the summer on CBS and CBS Sports Network, and allow us to reach a large, strategic demographic of consumers. As we continue to witness an increase in interest regarding CBD among both athletes and sports enthusiasts alike, we see the BIG3 as a dynamic, strategic partner for cbdMD and a pathway to engage those who could greatly benefit from CBD.”
The partnership may put cbdMD in one of the most visible positions for a CBD producer to date. BIG3 has a deal with both CBS and CBS Sports Network. CBS, through both channels, airs BIG3 games to an audience across the country.