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BROADWAY HELPS NBA BRING IN 'DA ALL-STAR GAME IN FEBRUARY
Published November 20, 1997
The NBA has joined with eight Broadway shows and the League of American Theaters and Producers to promote the 48th annual All-Star Game at MSG on February 8 and to feature Broadway stars in the NBA's "I Love This Game" promotional campaign. Broadway shows Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in 'Da Funk; The Capeman; Chicago; Jekyll & Hyde; The King and I; The Phantom of the Opera; Smokey Joe's Cafe; and Titanic all will be featured in All-Star Weekend and All- Star Game promos. The joint venture includes the shows' cast members appearing in TV spots singing Broadway-style "I Love This Game" lyrics, which will begin airing nationally in mid-December on NBA-affiliated networks. The All-Star Game halftime show will feature a Broadway medley theme, co- produced by NBA Entertainment and the league in conjunction with Dodger Productions, the producers of Titanic and The King and I. In addition, cast members of Paul Simon's The Capeman will perform the U.S. and Canadian national anthems before the game. The NBA will also purchase 5,000 tickets for a special Broadway matinee on February 8. As part of the agreement, the eight Broadway shows will move their matinee times to 1:00pm ET to accommodate NBA guests who will be attending the All-Star Game at 6:00pm ET. Proceeds from the shows' ticket sales will go to New York Cares, a non-profit organization (NBA). MAGIC IN THE AIR: In N.Y., Glenn Collins reported that the four-commercial NBA/Broadway ad campaign will be worth about $2M in air time. The NBA will provide the air time and the cost of producing the spots. Jed Bernstein, Exec Dir of the League of American Theaters and Producers, said the agreement helps live theater "to reach a younger audience, and it associates Broadway with the cool and the style personified by the N.B.A." (N.Y. TIMES, 11/19). NBA Entertainment President Adam Silver: "We were looking for something that said New York, and to us that was Broadway. It was also an opportunity to reach an audience that wasn't composed of hard-core basketball fans. We think by connecting the music to the game, it'll give people a taste of basketball" (Su Avasthi, N.Y. POST, 11/20).