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Volume 21 No. 2
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From ‘Big Color’ uniforms to new releases, NBA sponsors step up on Christmas Day

NBA marketing partners are set to debut activation initiatives around the league’s annual slate of Christmas Day games, which delivers a healthy TV audience and offers a key platform to launch creative and products.

“This has become the holiday destination for NBA fans around the world,” said Emilio Collins, senior vice president of global marketing partnerships for the NBA. “Our partners are recognizing that, and we continue to try and make it as compelling as possible.”

The five-game Christmas Day lineup tips off on ESPN with the Brooklyn Nets hosting the Boston Celtics at noon, followed by an evening doubleheader between the Houston Rockets at the Chicago Bulls and the Denver Nuggets at the Los Angeles Clippers.

ABC begins its 2012-13 NBA schedule at 3 p.m. ET, with the Los Angeles Lakers hosting the New York Knicks, who are playing on Christmas Day for a record 48th year. ABC’s doubleheader concludes with an NBA Finals rematch, in which the Miami Heat will host the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Christmas Day games will feature special "Big Color" uniforms by NBA apparel licensee Adidas.
The most readily apparent commercial ploy for viewers will be the Christmas Day “Big Color” uniforms from NBA master apparel licensee Adidas.

An ad for the uniforms featuring Dwyane Wade of the Heat, Carmelo Anthony of the Knicks, Dwight Howard of the Lakers, Russell Westbrook of the Thunder, and Joe Johnson of the Nets bouncing basketballs in an approximation of “Carol of the Bells” has been a YouTube smash.

To date, Big Color total views on the NBA YouTube channel is at 7.3 million. The special jerseys to be worn this one day have been at retail since mid-November.

The Clippers’ Chris Paul appears in spots for Billy Crystal’s movie “Parental Guidance.”
Photo by: ESPN
Five league sponsors will debut NBA-themed creative. ABC NBA halftime sponsor Sprint will unveil its latest spot with Thunder star Kevin Durant, while there’s a new Kobe Bryant spot for Nike touting his new shoe. League partners BBVA, Kia and State Farm have new ads, with Kia again featuring Blake Griffin. State Farm, presenting sponsor of all the Christmas Day games, will unveil a new promotional “NBA Assist” program as the company moves from presenting to title sponsor of “All-Star Saturday Night” on TNT and has it continuing as presenting sponsors of the NBA draft.

Movie studio 20th Century Fox will use NBA marketing assets in campaigns for two new releases, “Parental Guidance,” starring Billy Crystal, and “A Good Day to Die Hard,” with Bruce Willis.

Nike and Jordan Brand will have special-edition Christmas Day sneakers for their players.

The NBA will again run its #bignbaxmas campaign on Twitter, which has the league working with partners, including American Express, to give away items provided by NBA sponsors only on Dec. 25.