FIBA, basketball’s global governing body, has partnered with Smart Communications in a deal that will see the mobile services provider supply 5G technology at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

The four-year partnership provides key commercial rights across all FIBA competitions, with Philippines-headquartered Smart to play a pivotal role in the lead up to, and during, the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023, which is to be held in the Philippines, Japan and Indonesia. Under the terms of the agreement, Smart – a subsidiary of Asian telecoms giant PLDT – is granted exclusivity in the category of telecommunications worldwide.

The two organisations said they work together to “create a wide array of exciting experiences for both athletes and fans around the world”.

“Through Smart’s mobile innovations, we look forward to introducing immersive digital experiences that will bring hardcourt action to the fingertips of basketball fans around the world and connect us all in our love for the sport,” said Manuel Pangilinan, PLDT chairman.

The partnership covers the men’s and women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournaments, FIBA Continental Cups for both men and women, FIBA Youth World Cups, the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022 and FIBA’s pinnacle event, the FIBA Basketball World Cup in 2023.

The FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 will take place from August 25 to September 10, 2023. The group phase will be held across all three host countries, with the final phase to follow in the Philippines. The 55,000-capacity Philippine Arena, just outside Manila, is likely to host the final.

FIBA secretary general Andreas Zagklis said: “We are extremely pleased to welcome Smart Communications as a FIBA Global Partner.

“Joining forces with a leading telecommunications company such as Smart will bring unrivalled opportunities in the lead up to the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023. Giving our fans the best ever experience, whether at home or in arenas, is a crucial aspect of any FIBA event, and even more so for this flagship competition.

“We are looking forward to working with Smart to harness their state-of-the-art technologies and 5G capabilities to deliver the most connected and engaging FIBA Basketball World Cup to date.”