Wilson Sporting Goods Co., in partnership with Dreamville, announced the revival of the storied Chicago pro-am as The Dreamville Chi-League Powered by Wilson following a four-year hiatus. As part of Wilson’s commitment to the basketball community, the new official game ball supplier of the NBA is partnering with Dreamville, one of the most successful and influential brands in entertainment today to relaunch the three-week tournament in its hometown of Chicago, inclusive of community engagement and youth-enrichment programming. Inspired by a shared and deep-seated passion for the game of basketball, Wilson and Dreamville are joining forces to revive one of the game’s most celebrated competitions.
“Bringing Chi-League back to our hometown is an incredible honor for Wilson and perfectly complements our partnerships with the NBA, WNBA, and NCAA,” said Kevin Murphy, General Manager, Wilson Team Sports. “Partnering with Dreamville couples our performance credibility with their lifestyle relevance, bringing the best of basketball culture together, both on and off the court.”
With this partnership, Dreamville – the title sponsor of Chi-League – also becomes the Official Sound of Wilson Basketball. Originally founded as a Grammy Award-winning and platinum-selling record label, the modern multidisciplinary entertainment, and media company now lives at the intersection of sport, music, and culture and is uniquely positioned to reimagine Chi-League like never before. Dreamville plays an integral role in the return of the tournament, helping to broaden the appeal, drive player interest, curate halftime music performances and other weekend entertainment, design custom warmup apparel, and offer other in-game experiences for fans.
“Chicago has supported Dreamville and its artists from the beginning. It’s a privilege to infuse our brand with the rich legacy of the Chi-League, while also helping to celebrate the unique culture of the city of Chicago,” said Dreamville Executive Vice President Candace Rodney. “The revamped Dreamville Chi-League will help bring back a competition ingrained in the community and to make this all happen, there’s no better partner than a hometown hero like Wilson.”
Known to bring together current NBA stars, former collegiate standouts and local high school legends, the NBA-sanctioned pro-am will feature a men’s bracket consisting of eight 10-player teams in a single-elimination tournament hosted at Chicago State on Sunday, Aug. 8, Aug. 15 and Aug. 22. For the first time, Chi-League will include a women’s bracket comprised of four 10-player teams that will play the final two weekends, following the same format.
Wilson and Dreamville has partnered with long-time Chi-League organizer Jobba Maxey to manage the event and engage the community. A Chicago native and one of the creators of the Chicago United Hoops Classic, Maxey will apply his past expertise and act as tournament director and head of basketball operations.
When planning the comeback, allyship through the power of sport was equally as important as continuing Chi-League’s on-court traditions. Through the new Chi-League, Wilson will work alongside Dreamville to provide the opportunity to build bonds with its local Chicago basketball community in multiple ways:
- Wilson and The Winning Edge Leadership Academy will collaborate on an immersive learning experience for the next generation of leaders in the sports business. The Gigs for Game Changers program brings together a diverse cohort of current and former student-athletes for workforce training supporting Chi-League projects in marketing, operations, communications, and social responsibility. These Game Changers will also engage with Wilson and Dreamville employees through mentorship and professional development activities in the weeks leading up to the tournament.
- Wilson and Dreamville will co-host youth clinics each Saturday of the league, working with local trainers and Chi-League coaches at the South Side YMCA (63rd St. & Stony Island Ave.)
- The Winning Edge will facilitate a Town Hall to build a long-term relationship with the local community and enable allyship through action.
- Local black-owned businesses from the surrounding neighborhoods will be engaged for on-site concessions and entertainment.