December 20, 2010: The NBA has confirmed that it has signed a deal with American Express that brings the company back as an official partner of the league.
Terms of the multi-year pact were not disclosed. American Express had been an NBA marketing partner from 1995-2005.
Under terms of the deal, American Express becomes the official credit card partner of the NBA, USA Basketball, WNBA and the NBA Development League. Amex will provide card members with exclusive experiences and access to regular-season and playoff games, and premier NBA events such as NBA All-Star, the NBA Draft, and NBA Games: London 2011, the league’s first regular-season games in Europe. As an official partner of USA Basketball, American Express will also provide packages to USA Basketball games and events staged in the U.S. and internationally.
In addition, the company said it would "establish an expanded presence with NBA teams to complement its existing relationships" with the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Washington Wizards.
Marketing support will include ads on NBA TV and NBA.com and in-arena signage. During its original alliance, Amex featured NBA and WNBA coaches and players in a series of humorous TV spots, including Lakers head coach Phil Jackson buying lottery tickets, Sue Bird shopping at a neighborhood food store, Jason Kidd taking an eye exam, Jamal Mashburn visiting a voodoo high priestess and Don Nelson purchasing German-to-English dictionaries so that he could yell at Dirk Nowitzki in his native tongue.
As the presenting partner of the NBA All-Star Entertainment Series, American Express will offer card members behind-the-scenes access to the performances at NBA All-Star, including dedicated viewing areas, access to rehearsals and opportunities to meet NBA Legends and players. The series includes performances during the T-Mobile Rookie Challenge & Youth Jam, NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm, and the 60th NBA All-Star Game.
Through its global partnership with USA Basketball, American Express will provide card members with private access to USA Basketball exhibition games leading up to the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Card members will receive game tickets, access to USA Basketball receptions and chances to meet members of the USA Basketball team and coaching staff.
"We look forward to again working with American Express to provide its card members with unique opportunities around our preeminent basketball properties.”
“American Express is a leading global brand and a natural match as an NBA marketing partner,” Mark Tatum, NBA evp-global marketing partnerships, said in a statement. “As an organization focused on delivering an exciting entertainment experience for basketball fans globally, we look forward to again working with American Express to provide its card members with unique opportunities and experiences around all four of our preeminent basketball properties.”