DUBAI - Emirates Airline has forged a global partnership with America's NBA basketball league, a company executive said on Thursday.

The airline, which says it started sponsoring sports teams and events in 1987, has been keen to raise its exposure in the United States.

"Our eyes have always been on the NBA," said Boutros Boutros.

The NBA's deputy commissioner and COO Mark Tatum said that the NBA in-season tournament will be renamed the Emirates NBA Cup and referees' kits will feature the airline's logo.

Neither executive disclosed the value of the deal.

(Reporting by Federico Maccioni Writing by Tala Ramadan and Nadine Awadalla Editing by Michael Georgy and David Goodman )