SBJ/Dec. 20-26, 2010/This Week's Issue

League partners to debut spots in Christmas games

Ten of the NBA’s 19 leaguewide marketing partners will air spots during the five Christmas Day television games to be broadcast on ABC and ESPN.

New league sponsor BBVA will buy into the broadcasts along with Cisco, Coca-Cola, EA Sports, Nike, Gatorade, State Farm, T-Mobile, Taco Bell, and Kia.

Gatorade, T-Mobile (see related story), Jordan Brand and Nike are breaking new spots during the broadcasts, which begin with the New York Knicks at Chicago Bulls at noon ET on ESPN.

In addition, Nike will roll out new Christmas Day edition sneakers to be worn by the Los Angeles Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, Miami Heat’s LeBron James and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant. The Heat-Lakers matchup is the marquee Christmas game on ABC, which will also air the Orlando Magic against the Boston Celtics as the first game of the network’s doubleheader.

The Thunder will play against the Denver Nuggets on ESPN, along with the Portland Trail Blazers against the Golden State Warriors.

20th Century Fox will also buy time during the games to promote two new movies; “Gulliver’s Travels” and “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son.”

“[The Christmas Day broadcasts] are largely a media opportunity and it has increased across the board,” said Emilio Collins, senior vice president of global marketing partnerships for the NBA. “Traditionally, we have had a handful of partners but now it is the majority. The Christmas Day matchups feature the most prominent teams and this traditionally is the turning point of the season.”

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