Harman Presses Move Into Wearables, Announces NBA Partnership

NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– Harman  (HAR) is continuing to move into the wearable technology space, which has shown renewed interest since Apple (AAPL) unveiled the Apple Watch, by announcing a multi-year marketing and merchandising deal with the National Basketball Association to make headphones, speakers and other audio equipment.

At the Harman Flagship Store on Madison Avenue, Harman CEO and President Dinesh Paliwal and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver made the announcement, which will see Harman's JBL brand and other Harman products be used by NBA players and coaches and featured into the games and other events. In addition, Harman will sell NBA-branded audio products, including team and player branded headphones and portable speakers, as soon as the holiday season.

"As a global leader known for creating and developing the best audio products on the market, we are honored to welcome HARMAN to the NBA family," the NBA's Silver said in a press release. "This groundbreaking partnership showcases the intersection of technology and entertainment, and provides our tech savvy fans with another way to further connect with their favorite team and players."

Paliwal noted that Harman and the NBA were ideal partners, because both recognize the convergence of music, sports and technology. "[T]he NBA and HARMAN are ideal partners to develop powerful marketing programs and exciting co-branded audio products that will engage and inspire a new generation of fans."

This deal marks another area for Harman, which has continued to move into the wearable space. In an interview last month, Paliwal said that Harman's wearable business will generate around $200 million in revenue next year and around half of that would come from headphones and earbuds. "Wearables are going all over the place," Paliwal said during the interview. "There's a bit of euphoria and areas like biometric headphones are important because there are sensors and microsensors getting live information, since the ear is a great place to get vital signs."

In addition to the products announced, Harman will present the NBA All-Star Entertainment Series, bringing musical performances to State Farm All-Star Saturday Night and during pregame introductions and the halftime show at the NBA All-Star Game.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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