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Volume 25 No. 215
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Turner Sells Out NBA All-Star Game Ad Inventory In Record Time

Turner Sports sold out of its available ad units for NBA All-Star Weekend coverage in "record time, closing out the last bit" about three weeks ago, according to Anthony Crupi of AD AGE. Turner Sports Exec VP/Ad Sales Jon Diament did not disclose the "sort of unit costs he was able to command for the three nights of All-Star programming," but the weekend is one of Turner's "most lucrative events outside of the NBA and MLB playoffs and March Madness." Crupi noted among the "top spenders" for this year's All-Star Game, which takes place Feb. 17 in Charlotte, are official NBA sponsors such as State Farm, Kia, Beats and Gatorade. Tech companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and movie studios are also "big backers" of the game. Diament said that Warner Bros., a corporate sibling of Turner, will be "highly visible during this year's festivities," as will Universal Studios, Sony Pictures, Disney and Annapurna Pictures. Crupi noted Super Bowl LIII was "notably light on movie spots," and it is "likely that many of the upcoming films fans expected to see featured" will pop up during the All-Star Game (ADAGE.com, 2/7).

DRAFT DAY: In L.A., Broderick Turner notes Lakers F LeBron James during the NBA All-Star draft Thursday night "did not miss his chance" to take Pelicans C Anthony Davis, who the Lakers had tried to acquire before the NBA trade deadline. When James was asked by TNT host Ernie Johnson if he was sure he wanted Davis as a teammate, James said, "I'm very sure of that." Bucks F Giannis Antetokounmpo, who will captain the other team, joked, "Isn't that tampering?" (L.A. TIMES, 2/8). YAHOO SPORTS' Chris Cwik wrote the NBA All-Star draft was "full of entertaining moments," and 76ers G Ben Simmons may have provided the "best moments of the night." After being selected, Simmons was "traded by Antetokounmpo minutes later." Simmons had some "fun with the trade, calling out ESPN reporter Adrian Wojnarowski for not reporting it first." Simmons tweeted: "Where was @wojespn on that one huh?" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/7). In DC, Des Bieler noted this was the "first time" the draft was televised. James was a captain last year along with Stephen Curry, and he "declared after that draft that it should be televised." James and the Lakers played in Boston on Thursday night, meaning the draft "was recorded in the morning and shown on TNT in the evening" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 2/7).