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NBA In-season Tournament: League Teases Logos, NBA Cup Trophy Design

New trademark requests from the league provide some tantalizing evidence regarding the branding around the first-ever NBA In-season Tournament arriving in 2023-24.

On Nov. 3, 2023, the NBA will take its first big step toward a new competition format meant to inject more meaning — and money — into the first half of the league calendar. In December, following a group stage and a series of knockout rounds, the first-ever winner of the NBA In-season Tournament will hoist an all-new trophy known as the NBA Cup, as confirmed by Commissioner Adam Silver and several of the game’s top young stars on July 8.

Now, we have an early glimpse at just how the branding around this breakthrough event could be taking shape.

Per attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Intellectual Property, NBA Properties, Inc. submitted nine trademark applications dated July 6 to the US Patent and Trademark Office seeking ownership of several logos and wordmarks related to the NBA In-season Tournament, with their potential uses running the gamut from clothing, apparel, and jewelry to broadcast assets, live events, and multimedia tie-ins.

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NBA In-season Tournament Logos & Marks

Image No. 1: Circular NBA Cup trophy logo with wordmark


  • “The mark consists of the silhouette of a basketball player and the letters “NBA” encased in a trophy design with the words IN SEASON TOURNAMENT.”


Image No. 2: Rectangular bracket logo with wordmarks


  • “The mark consists of the silhouette of a basketball player and the letters “NBA” the words IN SEASON TOURNAMENT with a bracket design and a trophy design.”


Image No. 3: Circular NBA Cup trophy and bracket logo


  • “The mark consists of a Trophy and Bracket Design.”


Image No. 4: NBA In-season Tournament NBA Cup trophy


  • “The mark consists of a trophy design.”


As always, we leave you with the caveat that just because the NBA is seeking these trademarks doesn’t mean they are precisely what you’ll see on your television screen during the 2023-24 season, nor can we infer much about all of their other potential, practical uses IRL.

Suffice it to say, however, that the NBA In-season Tournament just took one legal step closer to being really real.

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About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.