Plastic basketballs are mainly used for advertising during basketball games, showing support for a particular team, as fun invitation to parties and get together, or as souvenirs. Plastic basketballs are very inexpensive, usually costing around $1-$3. Many websites and stores retailing plastic basketballs also customize or imprint them. The term plastic basketball is inclusive of both plastic and vinyl basketballs.
Vinyl basketballs are softer than plastic or acrylic basketballs. They are lobbed into crowds of spectators at basketball matches for advertising purposes, or to display support for a team. The promotional balls have a company or product logo imprinted on them while the basketballs showing team support have the team logo and a slogan showing backing for the team. Vinyl basketballs can be re-inflated, unlike plastic balls, and they are softer.
Extra-Mile.com retails the best plastic basketballs. It sells both plastic and vinyl basketballs with custom logos or slogans. A 3 ¼” diameter plastic basketball costs around $1.5 for 100 balls. As the quantity of balls ordered increase, the price comes down. So 500 plastic balls sell for around $1 each. They are available in red, blue, green, yellow and orange colors. These basketballs are also in demand as corporate gifts and souvenirs at corporate functions and fundraisers. MiniSportsBalls.com also retails vinyl and plastic mini basketballs of 4 ½” diameter. Each plastic ball costs $2 for 50 balls, with $20 extra for printing a single color design on it. Pepco.Poms.com also retails 3 ¾” colored basketballs of plastic. They are lightweight and have an imprint area panel of 2 ¼” diameter. Then there are stores like Blair Candy, which have put plastic basketballs to innovative usage by filling them up with candy and referee whistles to be distributed during games and parties.
The reason plastic basketballs are preferred over leather or rubber imprinted basketballs is that they are cheaper, lighter and more durable. There is no fear of punctures or ruptures, or any need to re-inflate these balls.