SBJ/20100802/This Week's News

USA Basketball signs 7 sponsors through ‘12 Games

USA Basketball has signed seven sponsors as the men’s national team gears up to play in the World Championships in Turkey later this month.

Partners are Nike; Gatorade; State Farm Insurance; Tiffany & Co.; JA Apparel Corp., owners of Joseph Abboud brand; Milk Processor Education Program, better known for its national “got milk?” campaign; and Las Vegas Events.

Each of the deals runs through the 2012 London Olympics. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The NBA is responsible for marketing USA Basketball.

State Farm, Gatorade, Nike and Las Vegas Events were USA Basketball sponsors during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, while Gatorade, Nike and State Farm are also full NBA league marketing partners.

USA Basketball is working to become a more visible property throughout non-Olympic years under the leadership of Jerry Colangelo, who chairs USA Basketball and was responsible for the overhaul of the men’s national team that was heavily criticized after taking the bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

“What is taking shape now is that we really are a brand with a year-round, ongoing structure,” Colangelo said. “One of the things I am very much behind is including more involvement and access. That is what sponsors want.”

To add value and opportunities for its sponsors, USA Basketball created a festival to be held this year in New York from Aug. 12-15 leading up to the FIBA World Championships set for Aug. 28-Sept. 12 in Turkey. Next summer, USA Basketball’s men’s team will play in the FIBA games in Argentina, followed by the 2012 Olympics in London.

Other sponsor activation includes the creation of the Global Community Cup, which includes all USA Basketball games played outside of internationally sanctioned competition.

“We have asked for a long-term commitment so we will have around 12 to 14 partners by 2012,” said Chris Heck, NBA senior vice president of marketing partnerships, who manages the business for USA Basketball.

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