SBJ/January 26 - February 1, 2004/Marketingsponsorship

RadioShack joins NBA sponsor list

RadioShack and the NBA last week took the wraps off a low-seven-figure sponsorship that makes the 7,000-store chain the league's official consumer electronics retailer for the remainder of the 2003-04 campaign and for the entire 2004-05 season.

For the NBA, the deal represents the securing of another hard-to-get retail sponsor after signing Foot Locker earlier this year.

RadioShack will begin activating during NBA All-Star Weekend Feb. 13-15 in Los Angeles by sponsoring a new All-Star Saturday event that would open TNT's telecast, called "RadioShack Shooting Stars." A modified version of the league's All-Star "Hoop-It-Up" event, which was sponsored by Jeep, would see four teams of three players each featuring an NBA star, a WNBA star and an NBA legend.

Retail activation plans are incomplete. RadioShack also will advertise on NBA-controlled media and make separate buys with the league's broadcast rights holders.

While RadioShack has always leveraged sports heavily, sources said the NBA deal marks the first of a number of changes in its sports marketing. The company will soon announce a NASCAR team deal that will see it serve as primary sponsor on a car for a handful of races. RadioShack's three-year sponsorship deal with MLB has expired and, considering the retailer's incremental NBA and NASCAR investments, a renewal appears unlikely.

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