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Volume 27 No. 10
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TV Ads Sell Out Faster Than Ever For NBA All-Star Weekend

Commercials for NBA All-Star Weekend in Chicago "sold out faster than ever before at prices that were 'significantly higher' than in past years," according to Jon Lafayette of BROADCASTING & CABLE. Some of the advertisers "also bought spots in the Super Bowl," which "sold out early this year." The NBA is "attractive to advetisers because it attracts hard-to-reach millennials and other light TV viewers." Turner's ad sales packages "include out-of-home viewers," and its Bleacher Report brand "reaches young viewers online and via social media." For the first time, Turner this season is "working with sister AT&T unit company Xandr, which provides advanced advertising solutions that target particular audiences." Turner Sports Exec VP and CRO Jon Diament said, "We're doing incredibly well not just in the All-Star Game, but throughout all of our NBA. We're basically sold out through the playoffs. We have pockets of opportunity, but we've never been in a sellout position like this before." Lafayette noted so far through Q1, more than 100 advertisers have "run campaigns on NBA on TNT." While many are "previous advertisers renewing at higher prices, there have also been 40 advertisers that didn't advertise on the NBA on TNT last season" (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 2/10).

RAISING THE BAR: SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL's John Lombardo notes AT&T is "activating heavily during its first full year as an NBA partner." AT&T is the "marquee sponsor of the NBA Crossover," which showcases the "convergence of the NBA, art, music, fashion, technology and entertainment." More than a dozen other NBA partners also will activate within the NBA Crossover venue. AT&T will "heavily promote its new 5G network in Chicago" at the Crossover, as well as at Wintrust Arena, the site of the celebrity game. AT&T also is a "title partner of the Slam Dunk Contest and presenting partner of All-Star Practice and Media Day." The telecom provider also is "sponsoring the AT&T Blue Carpet prior to the start of the All-Star Game and will sponsor the AT&T Pregame Concert set for Sunday prior to the game" (SPORTS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 2/10 issue).