AD AGE's Michael McCarthy reported American Express has renewed its deal to sponsor the NBA as the league's official credit card "for the foreseeable future." The company would not comment on the size of the deal. AmEx Dir of Sports Marketing Michele Carr said that the company "will take a slightly different approach" than previously, "focusing more on digital marketing." AmEx will "integrate its league-wide advertising and marketing initiatives with its individual sponsorships of NBA teams." The company has deals with the Heat, Lakers, Celtics, Nets, Bulls and Wizards (ADAGE.com, 9/9).
BALANCING ACT: In Boston, Donna Goodison noted New Balance is "looking to expand its presence by taking a swing at younger players and professional leagues in Japan and South Korea." The brand "now has 450 MLB players wearing its cleats, with 260 under formal contracts." New Balance's "global attack will focus on Japanese and Korean MLB players" -- it signed Dodgers P Hyun-Jin Ryu this spring. New Balance GM of Sports Marketing Mark Cavanaugh said that the brand "opted to break into professional baseball because of its low cost of entry compared to other pro sports" (BOSTON HERALD, 9/8).
LAST RACE BEFORE THE CHASE: In Richmond, Billy Fellin noted Federated Auto Parts and Richmond Int'l Raceway on Saturday agreed to the "extension of a contract" that will see the company continue to title sponsor the September NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at RIR. The Virginia-based company started sponsoring the race last season. The deal "extended the sponsorship and the title of Official Auto Parts Supplier for RIR for an undisclosed number of years" (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 9/8).