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Geico’s MSG suite will host pregame, cut-ins for Knicks, Rangers

The idea of selling beyond the 30-second spot has become a cliché in the sports media marketplace. It means that networks are pitching advertisers unique on-air sponsorships to go along with their traditional 30-second ad buys.

This fall, MSG Media will roll out an example of this trend, having sold Geico a suite in Madison Square Garden where it will telecast parts of its pregame show for Knicks and Rangers games. It’s also planning in-game cut-ins to the suite.

During the games, the “Geico Studio” will be inhabited by the insurance company’s characters, the Cavemen and Gecko.

MSG officials would not say how much the sponsorship is worth.

“This represents an increase in their commitment to the network,” said Art Ventura, senior vice president of integrated media sales for MSG Media. “We wanted to find ways of earning a bigger partnership with Geico.”

This marks an extension of a 10-year relationship between MSG and Geico. In February, Geico told MSG it was looking for more unique sponsorships than it had been getting.

“We sought to challenge them to enhance our partnership,” said Charlie Legg, supervisor of brand strategy for Horizon Media, which buys time for Geico.

Horizon liked the idea because it provided ad space inside and outside the arena as well as on TV. And, of course, it will be supplemented with 30-second spots.

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