SBJ/June 25-July 1, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

USA Basketball expands sponsor roster with 24 Hour Fitness

Four years after it signed a late agreement to sponsor USA Basketball prior to the Beijing Games, 24 Hour Fitness has cut a similar agreement ahead of the London Games.

The deal is a one-year agreement that makes 24 Hour Fitness, which is a sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the official fitness center of USA Basketball.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed.

The company already has begun activating the sponsorship. It is running an internal sales promotion for staff that will award trips to USA Basketball exhibition games. It also plans to put USA Basketball logos on the basketball courts at more than 200 of its 400 clubs.

“If you ask our team members, they’re excited about our partnership with the U.S. Olympic team, but the USA Basketball affiliation was something our front-line employees were continuously asking about,” said Carl Liebert, CEO of 24 Hour Fitness. “The other side of this is our members love it.”

The deal is the 14th sponsorship signed by USA Basketball, which is marketed by the NBA. There is no player involvement in the company’s activation plans as USA Basketball winds down its sales efforts before the London Games.

“We have a few more deals in the pipeline, but the gap is closing pretty quickly,” said Jim Tooley, CEO of USA Basketball. “There may be a couple of smaller deals out there.”

Liebert played basketball at the Naval Academy. The team lost to Duke in the 1986 NCAA tournament, and he has known Duke and USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski for years.

24 Hour Fitness’ sponsorship of the USOC is up for renewal, and Liebert said he hopes that he will be able to announce a renewal with Team USA shortly.

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