SBD/Issue 32/NBA Season Preview

NBA Marketplace Roundup: Knicks Sign Deal With 1800 Tequila

The Knicks have signed a sponsorship deal with 1800 Silver Tequila, the team’s second spirits brand agreement. Team officials refused to disclose financial terms of the multiyear deal, which includes courtside and scoreboard signage and media on MSG Network. Proximo Spirits owns the 1800 Silver Tequila brand. In '09, the Knicks signed a non-exclusive spirits deal with Sobieski Vodka. 1800 Tequila also has a sponsorship deal with the Lakers. The Knicks this week will roll out a new advertising campaign with the “You. Us. We. Now.” tagline. The campaign will appear on MSG Network and will have a heavy digital presence. A local print and outdoor buy is included (John Lombardo, SportsBusiness Journal). MSG has separate spirits deals with Rums of Puerto Rico, and MSG Sports Senior VP/Marketing Partnerships Greg Elliott said that he "expected other deals with liquor companies to follow." Last season, 26 NBA teams "signed new or extended agreements" with spirits companies, and "of those teams, 13 have two or more agreements" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/26).

Durant's Performance En Route To Gold At FIBA
World Championship Boosted Off-Court Appeal

CATCH A SHOOTING STAR: USA TODAY's J. Michael Falgoust reports Thunder F Kevin Durant's offseason, which included leading USA Basketball to a gold medal in the FIBA World Championship, has "increased Durant's appeal." His agent, Eric Goodwin, noted that Durant's "jersey sales are projected to be in the top five" in the NBA and his "endorsements have doubled from a year ago." Durant has deals with Gatorade, Nike, EA and Yahoo. His Q Score indicates that he is the "10th-most popular active NBA player" and has a recognition of 81% among NBA fans. Marketing Evaluations Exec VP Henry Schafer: "As far as his marketability goes, he's on an upward tick. He has very good recognition, a factor for any advertiser" (USA TODAY, 10/26).

SUMMER LOVIN': Data from SportsOneSource reveals that "retail sales of NBA merchandise in the past month" are up 44% from the same period a year ago. NBA Senior VP/Team Marketing & Business Operations Chris Granger said, "I think movement is a good thing for the NBA. As great as the Miami story is, it's much bigger than that." In addition, the NBA has "generated more than 50,000 new season ticket sales league-wide." Granger: "It's unprecedented what's happening now. Our teams have sold more new full season tickets this summer than at any point in our history" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 10/26).

BE LIKE MIKE: In Charlotte, Erik Spanberg reported the Bobcats yesterday offered a preview of their revamped team store at Time Warner Cable Arena, "overhauling it into a boutique that stocks merchandise from team owner Michael Jordan’s ever-popular Jordan Brand line of apparel from Nike." The store, featuring T-shirts, shorts and other gear, is the "only place to buy Jordan Brand Bobcats gear." The store officially opens Friday in conjunction with the Bobcats' home opener, and the "first 100 fans to spend $100 will receive a pair of Jordan shoes -- even though the store doesn't sell shoes" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 10/25).

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