First Basketball Teams Partner with CBD Brand

Stephen Andrews
05 Mar 2024

The NBA’s Brooklyn Nets and WNBA’s New York Liberty are the first basketball teams to enter the cannabis sector after signing partnerships with a CBD brand last month. The two basketball associations are following suit with other major athlete organizations, such as Major League Baseball and UFC.

A team from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and a team from the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) are partnering with Mynd Drinks, a hemp-based CBD sparkling beverage firm. 

The same company made headlines last year as the first official partner of the Chicago Cubs, a Major League Baseball (MLB) team.

Mynd Drinks’ teaming up with the New York basketball teams comes almost a year after the NBA removed cannabis from the list of banned substances for players. 

The basketball association has also permitted players to make investments in CBD companies and engage in related promotional activities. 

Mynd reportedly signed a multi-year contract with Brooklyn Nets, becoming its official wellness and recovery drink partner. 

Not many details are known about the deals with either Brooklyn Nets or the New York Liberty. Though, the Chicago Cubs partnership has been primarily oriented toward including CBD drinks in the signage marketing. 

Sports Organizations Rewrite Cannabis Rules

Many professional sports organizations have decided to join the cannabis sphere over the last couple of years. 

The UFC was among the first such organizations to permit sponsorship activities from cannabis companies. The mixed martial arts league signed a deal with Canadian company Aurora Cannabis in 2019, and then negotiated a five-year partnership with Love Hemp in 2021. 

The MLB had a league-wide partnership in place with the famous CBD manufacturer Charlotte’s Web before the Chicago Cubs teamed with Mynd Drinks. 

Another MLB team, the Kansas City Royals followed the Cubs' example and joined forces with Pure Spectrum CBD last year. A company known for its hemp oils and gummies. 

Individual athletes are also striking deals with cannabis businesses. An example is Kevin Durant, who is a Weedmaps sponsors with his company 35 Ventures. 

Along with opening up to partnerships, sports organizations are also changing outdated cannabis policies. The NBA no longer suspends players from games over THC presence. Neither it tests players. 

Durant himself has said in an interview that weed is actually so commonly used in the league, that “it’s like wine at this point.”

MLB has as well adopted a more tolerant cannabis policy. There is no more random drug testing, but on a basis of reasonable cause. Marijuana is removed from the list of banned substances, though players are asked not to show up high at the ballpark. 

It all adds to the marijuana legalization movement, and it has certainly had a tremendous impact on fighting stigma around the recreational use of cannabis.

Also read on Soft Secrets:

- NBA Players Can’t Promote THC Brands

Allen Iverson Gets A Strain After His Name

Major League Baseball Strikes Historic CBD Deal

Stephen Andrews