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The Basketball Tournament unveils commercial partners for 2020 event

The Basketball Tournament has unveiled its commercial partners for this year’s event, which will be held exclusively at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, from July 4-14.

All three of TBT’s partners in 2019 — Puma, Zelle, and Air Force Reserve — will return this year. Seven new partners include E&J Gallo, American Eagle, FanDuel, Addaday, Vault Health, Ready, and OhioHealth.

This year’s event will be a 24-team single-elimination tournament featuring former National Basketball Association players, college stars, and international standouts who will compete for a winner-take-all, $1m prize.

Traditionally, TBT has 64 teams, is held in multiple locations, and has a $2m prize for the winner. But its format has been changed in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

TBT will become the first televised basketball competition in United States since the coronavirus-enforced shutdown in mid-March. All 23 games will be broadcast on ESPN networks.

Sports apparel company Puma, a partner since 2018, will begin the first of a new three-year agreement. The company will continue to design team uniforms and all official TBT gear and have creative ownership of the Nationwide Arena court.

As it did in 2019, digital payments network Zelle will continue as the official payment partner and be responsible for disbursing TBT’s $1m prize to the winning team. Meanwhile, armed forces unit Air Force Reserve will have a jersey patch prominently featured on all 24 teams.

Massage equipment company Addaday will issue recovery equipment for all TBT players, including percussion massage guns, massage chairs and foam rollers. Clothing and accessory company American Eagle will assist with bringing the fan experience to all TBT game broadcasts on ESPN, though it has not been explained how.

Vault Health, a healthcare firm that offers a coronavirus test developed by researchers at Rutgers University, is serving as TBT’s testing partner. Local healthcare provider OhioHealth will provide medical staffing to monitor the well-being of TBT participants, as well as athletic trainers to tend to players’ pre- and post-game needs.

Earlier this week, TBT announced a multifaceted strategic partnership with sports betting and daily fantasy sports operator FanDuel ahead of the organization’s kickoff this weekend.

FanDuel has been named TBT’s official daily fantasy partner and will offer betting odds in select states where sports wagering is legal: New Jersey, Indiana, Colorado, and West Virginia.