SBD/November 21, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Spirits Brand Diageo Teams Up With NBA For Multiyear Sponsorship Deal

The NBA yesterday formally announced a multiyear sponsorship deal with Diageo, which gains category exclusivity as the league's official spirits brand. Diageo's Ciroc and Crown Royal brands will be integrated into NBA and D-League marketing initiatives, and the Baileys brand will be used in conjunction with the WNBA. Crown Royal will integrate the NBA into its "Reign On" campaign. It also will launch a lifestyle-themed video series titled "On Point" on TNT featuring TV personality Terrence J (NBA). AD AGE's Michael McCarthy noted the Ciroc brand will be designated as "The Toast of the NBA." Diageo succeeds Bacardi, which "became the league's first official spirits sponsor" in '10. NBA Exec VP/Global Marketing Partnerships Mark Tatum said that the league is "impressed with Diageo's prowess in advertising brands, including Captain Morgan, Guinness, Ketel One and Johnnie Walker." Tatum said, "Diageo has a strong track record for successfully engaging consumers and, in this case, our fans. They do it in a unique and exciting way. That storytelling that Diageo is so good at, and the storytelling about our game and our players, is critical to broadening our reach." Diageo under the deal will "beef up its TV-ad buys during national NBA game telecasts on ESPN, TNT, ABC and NBA TV." Diageo VP/PR & Entertainment Marketing Dan Sanborn said that the brand's ad agencies "are already working on new ads playing up the official NBA connection" (ADAGE.com, 11/20).
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