Vivo announced a strategic co-branding agreement with the NBA in October designating the Guangdong-based company as the NBA's only partner in the Chinese smartphone market.
The two parties will carry out full-scale strategic cooperation in events organization, products, services and branding operations.
With the rise of Chinese brands, a growing number of Chinese companies started to seek endorsement by foreign celebrities.
Hiring foreign celebrity endorsers speaks of the company's brand competitiveness, as well as facilitating its product marketing efforts outside China.
In March this year, Huawei Technologies Co. signed a EUR6 million endorsement contract with the Argentine captain and Barcelona star Lionel Messi, widely regarded as the best soccer player in the world.
This was closely followed by the endorsement of Zhongxing Telecommunication Equipment Corporation's Nubia by Real Madrid and Portugal soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo in May.