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SBD/23/Leagues Governing Bodies
FOR STERN, ENTERTAINMENT IS A THREE- LETTER WORD -- NBA
Published May 23, 1995
The recent McDonald's spots mixing NBA stars and Warner Brothers characters is a "snapshot" of NBA Commissioner David Stern's vision for the league. In an interview in the latest ADVERTISING AGE, Stern calls the McDonald's spots the "best- crafted NBA (related) ad campaign I've ever seen. And it might give you an idea where we're headed." Stern's "stated ambition" is to make the NBA "a poor man's Disney" with the league is using its basic format as a professional sports league "as a springboard" to become a global provider of "entertainment content," whether it be programming or licensed products. Stern has offered the services of NBA Entertainment, a "key element" of his vision, to Hollywood studios to assist in developing "basketball-themed movies" -- including an upcoming Warner Jordan-Bugs Bunny film. Stern is also working toward establishing an NBA site on the World Wide Web, and has had "discussions" with Pacific Telesis and Bell Atlantic about participating in video dialtone network tests. All of this outreach is geared toward "establishing the NBA as a global brand." Stern: "We're determined to make the NBA a global marketing vehicle for global marketers" (Jeff Jensen, ADVERTISING AGE, 5/22). FROM PHOENIX TO HOLLYWOOD? One of the projects NBA Entertainment is providing support for is the upcoming Disney movie "Celtic Pride." According to the BOSTON HERALD, Disney officials are trying to sign Charles Barkley for the lead (Fee & Raposa, BOSTON HERALD, 5/22).