The NBA today announced that it has signed a multiyear deal with Foot Locker that elevates the company to a full league marketing partner. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Foot Locker will continue as the title partner of the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest held during All-Star Weekend. Foot Locker has sponsored the event since '04. The new deal also includes a new promotion called “Kicks of All-Star,” which includes a branded section on NBA.com that spotlights the different sneakers worn by NBA players throughout All-Star Weekend. The deal calls for Foot Locker to have a significant presence on NBA TV and NBA.com (John Lombardo, Staff Writer).
A PRAIRIE STATE COMPANION: In Portland, Allan Brettman noted the Univ. of Illinois is “working with Nike to create its own distinct brand.” UI Dir of Basketball Operations Mark Morris said that the school and Nike “have been collaborating for about a year on the rebranding.” Morris added that the rebrand “will affect all aspects of Illinois athletics, not just football and basketball.” Brettman notes the rebrand “has cast a wide net, with interviews involving coaches, players, students and alumni.” UI Assistant AD/Communications Derrick Burson noted that Senior Associate AD Warren Hood and Assistant AD Marty Kauffman “are working most closely with Nike on the rebranding” (Portland OREGONIAN, 12/15).
INTEL-LIGENT THINKING: L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said Intel's new sponsorship with La Liga club FC Barcelona on the inside of the jerseys is "brilliant because when a soccer player celebrates goals, what do they do? They pull their shirts up so we’ll see the advertisement and it will be associated with triumph.” But ESPN’s Bomani Jones said the “only person brilliant is the hustler that tricked these people into buying an advertisement that nobody can see” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 12/13).
MOTOR CITY CONNECTION: Palace Sports & Entertainment and the IndyCar Series Chevrolet Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix on Friday announced a “new promotional partnership.” In Detroit, Mike Brudenell noted the groups “will offer special ticket packages to Pistons games and the races on Belle Isle, May 30-June 1.” The groups also “will co-host a ‘Grand Prix Night’” at the Palace of Auburn Hills on March 5 during a Bulls-Pistons game (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 12/14).