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Amazon to Power Online Sales for NBA

Amazon.com Thursday agreed to provide the technology to handle online sales for the sports merchandise stores on NBA.com and WNBA.com.

Under the multi-year agreement with the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Foot Locker, shoppers will be able to purchase NBA and WNBA merchandise such as jerseys and T-shirts through Amazon.com's Apparel & Accessories store as well as the NBA.com and WNBA.com stores.

The NBA hopes to benefit from Amazon's wide-ranging brand, using Amazon's technology platform to let customers access the NBA and WNBA online stores with their Amazon.com accounts. Customers may purchase NBA and WNBA merchandise through a co-branded Amazon.com-NBA.com and WNBA.com order pipeline, as well as use Amazon's search capability to find products.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Athletic apparel outfit Foot Locker will provide fulfillment and customer service for The NBA Store NBA.com and The WNBA Store on WNBA.com.

"This partnership with a professional sports league of NBA's caliber is a strong recognition of the power of the Amazon.com platform and reflection of our relentless commitment to the customer," said Owen Van Natta, vice president of Worldwide Business Development, Amazon.com.

The play is indicative of Amazon's capacity for growth online, where it often vies with auction powerhouse eBay for e-commerce real estate.

Seattle's Amazon late last year took over a number of struggling e-commerce operations, including Borders.com and CDNow. Meanwhile, eBay scooped up popular bargain shopping site Half.com and has quietly been integrating it into its fold since.

Earlier this month, Google secured the right to provide paid links and Web search on Amazon.com.