SBD/Dec. 20, 2010/Marketing and Sponsorship

Don't Leave Home Without It: AmEx Inks Three-Year Deal With NBA

The NBA and American Express today formally announced a multiyear partnership that will see AmEx become the official credit card of the league. As part of the deal, AmEx also will become an official partner of the WNBA, D-League and USA Basketball (NBA). In N.Y., Ken Belson reports the three-year deal represents a return to the NBA for AmEx after a five-year absence. AmEx will “give its cardholders exclusive access to game tickets and to events like the NBA draft and musical performances during All-Star Game weekend, as well as opportunities to meet players and coaches.” AmEx VP/Global Media & Sponsorship Marketing Courtney Kelso indicated that “a significant jump in requests from cardholders for tickets prompted American Express to seek a sponsorship with the league.” Belson notes AmEx “will advertise on NBA TV,” and the company is “considering a separate NBA-themed marketing campaign.” In addition to the deal with the league, AmEx will “expand its existing deals” with the Celtics, Knicks, Lakers and Wizards. AmEx is the “fourth major sponsorship for the NBA” this year; the league “has also made deals with Bacardi, State Farm and BBVA, the Spanish financial giant” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/20). The deal was first reported earlier this month by SportsBusiness Journal.
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