SBD/Issue 197/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Ring The Bell: Taco Bell Signs Four-Year Deal As NBA's New QSR

The NBA is thinking outside the bun. Taco Bell has signed on as the league's new official QSR in a four-year deal. The deal ends McDonald's run as the NBA's official fast-food sponsor, which began in '90. Industry sources said the deal includes a heavy media component on NBA rightsholders ABC, ESPN and TNT, themed promos at the chain's 5,600 restaurants, themed advertising, title to the All-Star Saturday Night Skills Challenge and an associate sponsorship of the NBA's Jam Session All-Star Game Fan Fest. The Skills Challenge entitlement had been held by PlayStation. WNBA and D-League rights are also included, but Taco Bell will not get official QSR designation for those leagues and WNBA activation will not begin until next season. Taco Bell has been an MLB corporate sponsor since '04. Yum Brands, the QSR's parent company, has had international NBA rights for its KFC brand for some time. Taco Bell currently has nine NBA team deals: the Bobcats, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons, Lakers, Hornets, 76ers, Trail Blazers and Jazz.

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