SBD/February 16, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sponsors Roll Out Bevy Of Activities For NBA All-Star Weekend Activation

NBA sponsors are “offering a mix of special experiences and the ability for fans to be more closely involved” at this weekend’s All-Star activities in L.A., according to Terry Lefton in this week’s SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. Among the new activations, American Express is “back as a sponsor after a five-year league absence, and will serve as presenting sponsor” of the “All-Star Entertainment Series,” a collection of musical performances in and around the weekend. AmEx is “offering cardholders unique access to various sports and entertainment events, including meet and greets with musicians and NBA legends, and it will title sponsor the Rookie Challenge game.” T-Mobile is sponsoring "a 'magenta carpet' event in accordance to its brand dress.” New NBA sponsor BBVA will serve as title sponsor for the celebrity game on Friday night and “will be running a significant hospitality program for its European executives and clients.” Meanwhile, Lefton notes the NBA will “continue its Day of Service on Friday during All-Star Weekend,” with sponsors BBVA, Kia, State Farm and Haier supporting (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/14 issue). MARKETING DAILY’s Karl Greenberg noted Sprite, Kia, BBVA, Taco Bell, AmEx, T-Mobile and State Farm “are just a few activating around the game." NBA Senior VP/Global Marketing Partnerships Emilio Collins said that first-time All-Star Game partner Kia “will have a grassroots footprint” this weekend around L.A. to “showcase its vehicles, including the NBA Jam Session, an interactive hoops theme park national grassroots program that Kia sponsors” (MARKETING DAILY, 2/14 issue).

DYNAMITE MARKET: ADWEEK’s Anthony Crupi notes a “powerhouse ad market and double-digit ratings gains primed the pump for a quick sellout" of TNT’s NBA All-Star Game Weekend broadcasts. Turner Sports "has raked in an estimated $36.5 million in All-Star ad sales, a leap of 25 percent versus last year’s take.” Turner Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales & Marketing Jon Diament said, “This is probably the strongest sports marketplace in history.” Diament added that NBA on TNT dollars "are up 30 percent” this season. Crupi notes TNT’s All-Star Game telecast on Sunday will be presented by Kia Motors for the second year. Hyundai will also return as “presenting sponsor of the postgame show.” In addition, Acura, Chrysler and Ford have bought 30-second spots “during in-game coverage.” Crupi notes “beer and spirits are well represented, with Anheuser-Busch InBev shooting it out with rival MillerCoors.” London-based Diageo, producer of Smirnoff, Johnnie Walker and Guinness, also has “bought time in the telecast” (ADWEEK, 2/13 issue).
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