SBD/February 15, 2017/Marketing and Sponsorship

Turner Sports Sells Out NBA All-Star Game Ad Inventory For Third Consecutive Year

Turner Sports for the third year running has "sold out" of ad inventory for the NBA All-Star Game "well in advance of the opening tip," according to Anthony Crupi of AD AGE. Turner Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales Jon Diament said that the ASG "sold out even earlier than last year's telecast, which at the time was TNT's most lucrative in its 14 years of carrying the game." In fact, the entire slate of All-Star Weekend programming has been "picked clean by advertisers." Diament said of the sales success, "A lot of that has to do with the caliber of the event." Crupi noted some of the "accelerated sellout is a function of longstanding commitments made by the NBA's official marketing partners, a lineup that includes the likes of Kia, Verizon, State Farm, Taco Bell, Samsung, Gatorade, American Express, BBVA Compass and Mountain Dew." Buyers said that the average cost for a 30-second spot in the '16 game "worked out to around $250,000 a pop." Advertisers who have "bought All-Star Weekend inventory for the first time" this year are Adobe, Hulu, Jack Link's and Mondelez. Kia for the seventh time will serve as the ASG's "presenting sponsor; the automaker will also return as the linchpin of the 'Inside the NBA' postgame show and its logo will again find its way onto the front of the players' jerseys." American Express serves as the the "exclusive presenting halftime sponsor of TNT's regular-season and playoff coverage," and will also advertise in the game. Longtime Turner partner AutoTrader will "continue to light the way as the tip-off sponsor." The State Farm All-Star Saturday Night lineup "returns largely intact, as Verizon will present the slam dunk contest and Taco Bell once again will back the big men vs. guards skills contest." Audio brand JBL "steps in as the presenting sponsor of the three-point contest" (, 2/14).
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