SBD/May 16, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

NBA Launches Series Of PSAs Denouncing Anti-Gay Language

The NBA has teamed with the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network and the Ad Council to launch a series of PSAs featuring Suns Fs Grant Hill and Jared Dudley designed to address the use of anti-gay language among teens. The campaign includes new TV, radio, print and Web ads created pro bono by ArnoldNYC. The TV spot launched during yesterday's Heat-Bulls Eastern Conference Finals Game One on TNT. The Ad Council is distributing the TV PSA to more than 1,600 stations nationwide this week, and the ad will air during donated time. The NBA will support the spot across its  broadcast partners -- ABC, ESPN and TNT -- as well as on NBA TV and NBA.com. In addition, the league will support the campaign through social media (NBA). AD AGE’s Karen Egolf noted the campaign “tells teens that it connects using words such as ‘gay’ in a negative way can have serious consequences, showing that using such terms to say something is dumb or stupid is not acceptable on the basketball court or anywhere else.” The PSAs direct fans to ThinkB4YouSpeak.com for more information and “to take a pledge against using anti-LGBT language” (ADAGE.com, 5/13). In Boston, Gary Washburn wrote the campaign is “one of the league’s responses” to Lakers G Kobe Bryant “using a gay slur as an insult toward official Bennie Adams during a game last month” (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/15). Meanwhile, Suns President & CEO Rick Welts yesterday revealed publicly that he is gay.
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