MIES, Switzerland/TOKYO, Japan - Japan Airlines (JAL), one of the world's premier carriers, has become a Global Partner and the Official Airline of FIBA, it was announced on Thursday.
The announcement was made by FIBA President Horacio Muratore and Japan Airlines President Yoshiharu Ueki at the headquarters of Japan’s flag carrier.
The announcement comes at an exciting time for FIBA, with the best national teams from around the world competing in continental championships across its five regions - Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania. At stake for all of them is the chance to be among the 12 men's and 12 women's qualified teams that will compete in the Olympic Basketball Tournament at the 2016 Rio Games.
Mr Muratore said: "This is a historical day for FIBA as we have the pleasure of welcoming a Global Partner from Asia in the airline category.
"We are very excited to have a company and brand as prestigious and world renowned as Japan Airlines join us and assist FIBA in our mission of developing and growing basketball worldwide."
FIBA Secretary General and International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Patrick Baumann said: "As one of the world's most preeminent airlines, Japan Airlines' reputation speaks for itself. It is an Official Partner for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and it is an honour for us to be associated with them.
"We are confident that this partnership will be successful for both organisations and look forward to a fruitful cooperation for many years to come."
Mr Ueki said: "Basketball is one of the most popular sports in the world with fans in every corner of the globe. We are very happy to be able to support the beloved game of basketball on a global scale.
"Japan Airlines is an Official Airline Partner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and we hope to use the synergies of both properties to their fullest potential to promote the beautiful game of Basketball from Japan to the World."