Way back in the eighties and nineties, Midway, the developer most remembered for creating the Mortal Kombat series also introduced a couple of sports series into arcades. First came Arch Rivals (basketball) in 1989 and then High Impact (American football) in 1990. Both games enjoyed some popularity, but it was their league-licensed sequels that really caught on fire: NBA Jam in 1993 and NFL Blitz in 1997.
NBA Jam became a staple of the 16-bit era (right alongside Mortal Kombat), thanks in part to a bevy of home console ports. The series had largely died out by the mid-2000s, shortly before Midway itself went bankrupt. Jam could have ended there, but Electronic Arts (in what some would call a rare act of benevolence) rescued the license in 2010 and published a new version for home consoles, followed by an even better XBLA sequel, NBA Jam: On Fire Edition.