SBD/April 6, 2010/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Striking Gold: NBA Inks Three-Year Sponsorship Deal With Bacardi

The NBA "has signed a sponsorship deal with Bacardi, making it the first of the big four professional stick and ball sports to sign a spirits marketer as a corporate patron," according to Lefton & Lombardo of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. The deal comes as spirits brands have been "steadily increasing their presence within pro teams and venues over the past several years." Bacardi’s three-year deal includes a "seven-figure buy on TNT’s NBA playoffs coverage, and the company will initially activate against its Bacardi Gold rum." Also included in the deal is "league digital inventory and rights to market with the WNBA and NBA D-League." Bacardi will support its deal with a "Gold Standard" scholarship program that will annually "funnel $100,000 toward the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund." Bacardi will have "ads and an age-appropriate microsite linked to NBA.com," and "where permitted by law, Bacardi will stage sweepstakes offering trips to the 2011 NBA All-Star Game as first prize." Point-of-sale, retail promotions and advertising using league marks are "also planned, although under the same restrictions that cover NBA teams, as Bacardi will not be permitted to use NBA game footage or game photos to market its rums." Bacardi will use its WNBA ties to "support the scholarships associated with the hoops league’s 'Inspiring Women' program." Six NBA teams or arenas "already have deals with Bacardi," and 25 NBA teams or venues "have deals with spirits marketers" (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/5 issue).

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