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Volume 21 No. 1
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NBA playoff activation has global flavor

Editor's note: This story is revised from the print edition.

NBA partners are turning to the NBA’s postseason to push products overseas, with what league officials say is a record number of global promotions tied to the playoffs and Finals this year.

“Across the board, we have seen unprecedented activation by our partners internationally,” said Emilio Collins, senior vice president of global marketing partnerships for the NBA.

The overseas efforts include KFC running an in-store promotion in more than 200 of its restaurants in the Philippines, where fans who buy select KFC meals can win a trip to this year’s Finals.

In China, Harbin Beer is running a basketball-themed social media game throughout the postseason on Sina Weibo and Tencent QQ, the country’s leading social media platforms. Additionally, Sprite is launching a spot on CCTV in China featuring Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant.

In Europe, Foot Locker is running an online sweepstakes for fans to win a trip to this year’s Finals. Friuli Venezia Giulia, the NBA’s official tourist destination in Italy, is running a 30-second spot on Sky Italia throughout the playoffs and Finals.

Also internationally, NBA partner Adidas is using the playoffs to promote the tipoff of its 3-on-3 basketball tournaments that are played in 11 countries throughout the spring and summer.

Domestically, State Farm is debuting new spots tied to its “Assist” campaign featuring Los Angeles Clippers star Chris Paul across all NBA TV assets.

BBVA has scheduled a new spot to run throughout the postseason promoting its new online banking product, while American Express is offering a ticket promotion to card members for postseason games through its social media channels. The company also is offering merchandise discounts on for card members using its Sync service.

Sprint is continuing its backboard cam promotion, in which fans can access photos from a backboard camera though Twitter handle @NBABackboardcam.

League partner Cisco plans to debut a spot on featuring an NBA player (who was still to be named as of last week), and Disney will promote its upcoming movie “The Lone Ranger” during ESPN’s coverage of the Western Conference Finals.

Taco Bell is running a new in-store promotion selling an NBA-themed Big Box meal, and league sponsor Bacardi is activating a national retail promotion in about 2,000 grocery and liquor stores with a sweepstakes to win a trip to the Finals. The company, in an effort to promote its new Pineapple Fusion product, also is creating a branded video player on that will allow fans to mix in-game highlights.