SBD/June 20, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

White House Reportedly Reaches Out To NBA About Partnership Around Obamacare

The White House has “reached out to the NBA about a potential marketing partnership to promote” the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, according to Kyle Cheney of POLITICO. It is unclear “whether a potential partnership would put big-name ballplayers … at the center of ad campaigns or whether it would be as modest as permitting the administration to affix the NBA logo onto marketing materials.” The news was “revealed recently by Massachusetts officials who have been in contact with the administration.” The NBA season’s calendar “tracks closely with the six-month period during which Americans have a chance to sign up for subsidized insurance around the country -- beginning on Oct. 1.” NBA fans also “fit key demographics targeted by supporters of the health law.” Nonprofit organization Enroll America said that it will “reach out to professional sports leagues to help encourage people to sign up for insurance.” Cheney noted some “who played a role" in getting Massachusetts' health care law up and running -- and who "relied on the celebrity wattage of baseball's Red Sox -- have been advising the Obama administration’s outreach efforts” (, 6/19). The NEW REPUBLIC’s Jonathan Cohn noted the Red Sox ads for health reform in Massachusetts, which were rolled out in '07, “have a certain legendary status in health policy circles.”The spots “leveraged the celebrity status of beloved sports heroes, not to promote the reforms themselves but to make two very simple points: Everybody can get sick and, for the first time, everybody can get health insurance” (, 6/19).
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