SBD/Issue 84/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

RadioShack Leveraging O'Neal Deal With NBA Sponsorship

By Terry Lefton, Editor-at-Large, The Sports Business Daily

With Shaquille O'Neal Deal In Hand,
RadioShack Nabs NBA Sponsorship

RadioShack and the NBA are set take the wraps off a low-seven figure sponsorship that will make the 7,000-store chain the league's official consumer electronics retailer for the remainder of the '03-04 campaign and for the entire '04-05 season. For the NBA, the deal represents the securing of another hard-to-get retail sponsor after inking Foot Locker earlier this year.

THE ON-SWITCH: RadioShack will begin activating during NBA All-Star Weekend February 13-15 in L.A. by sponsoring a new All-Star Saturday event that would open TNT's telecast, called "RadioShack Shooting Stars." A modified version of the league's All-Star Hoop-It-Up event (which was sponsored by Jeep) would see four teams of three players each featuring an NBA star, a WNBA star and an NBA legend. Retail activation plans are incomplete, but a promotion backing the NBA playoffs and finals is hoped for. RadioShack will also advertise on NBA-controlled media and make separate buys with the league's broadcast rightsholders. RadioShack has used Lakers C Shaquille O'Neal as a spokesperson since October '02, so this deal unites those properties.

A SPORTS PLAYER: While RadioShack has always leveraged sports heavily, sources said the NBA deal marks the first of a number of changes in its sports marketing. The company will shortly announce a NASCAR team deal that will see it serve as primary sponsor on a car for a handful of races. RadioShack's three-year sponsorship deal with MLB has expired and, considering the retailer's incremental NBA and NASCAR investments, a renewal appears unlikely (THE DAILY).

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