SBD/June 7, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

NBA Marketing Notes: Four Movie Studios Promoting Films During Finals Intros

FORBES' Alicia Jessop noted NBA fans during the Finals will see the "implementation of innovative marketing strategies," including the league partnering with four movie studios -- Warner Bros., Universal, Sony and Disney -- to create "co-promotional spots advertising each respective studio’s summer films." The NBA asserts that the demographics of its fan base were "instrumental in securing these advertisements, as according to the NBA, 48-percent of its fan base is under the age of 35" (FORBES.com, 6/6). Game 1 of the Spurs-Heat Finals Thursday night included a promo for Columbia Pictures' "White House Down" in which Channing Tatum talks about the NBA Finals and the film. The promo begins with highlights from past Finals games, with Tatum saying, "Many have come, but only a few can call this place…" Actor Jamie Foxx then interjects and says, "Home." Scenes from the film were shown intermixed with Spurs and Heat highlights, with Foxx and Tatum standing next to each other and Foxx saying. "The moment of truth has arrived." Then on-screen "The Finals ABC" appeared followed by "White House Down" and its June 28 release date (THE DAILY).

DRY TEXAS AIR: ESPN's Darren Rovell reported the Spurs represented only 1% of all NBA team merchandise "sold this season." The team plays in the "fourth-smallest market in the NBA," and Spurs F Tim Duncan "doesn't exactly help the Spurs become relevant outside of San Antonio." The Davie-Brown Index indicated that just 49% of the country knows who Duncan is, compared to the 86% who know Heat F LeBron James ("Money Talk," ESPN.com, 6/4).

TONGUE TIED: The NBA and sports accessory company Skootz have debuted a joint innovative shoelace replacement gear entitled "Replacez." The new NBA "Replacez" gear consists of banded elastic straps with a snap-in attachment that weaves directly through the eyelets of any laced shoe. To coincide with the NBA Finals, Skootz is releasing special edition versions for Heat fans. The company also will release branded Replacez gear for additional NBA teams online and throughout retail locations throughout the '13-14 season (NBA).

STERN DESERVES KUDOS: Several TNT and NBA TV analysts who played in the NBA reflected Thursday night on NBA Commissioner David Stern's career, and Charles Barkley noted, "When we came in in '84, the players were not doing endorsements. Like you think about Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, they had like the little Converse commercial. Then Michael came in and he started doing Nike." He said of Stern, "He has to take some credit for that. He started marketing stars because the NBA is about marketing stars" ("Open Court," NBA TV, 6/6).
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