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Burger King, 7UP, Sunkist Join USA Basketball Roster For London Olympics

By Barry Janoff

May 14, 2012: USA Basketball has unveiled two deals tied to the 2012 Olympic Games, one naming Burger King as its official quick service restaurant partner and a second designating Sunkist Soda and 7UP — both brands from USA Basketball partner Dr Pepper Snapple Group — as the official soft drinks.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

“This is a special year for USA Basketball and this partnership with these iconic brands will help pay homage to our rich history,” Jerry Colangelo, chairman, USA Basketball, said in a statement. “We look forward to having some of the most storied players in our program’s history recognized . . . as we prepare to compete this summer.”

The deals follow on the heels of pact last month naming Chrysler's Jeep as the official vehicle of USA Basketball. Other USA Basketball marketing partners include American Express, Cisco, PepsiCo's Gatorade, Las Vegas Events, MetroPCS, Got Milk?, Nike, State Farm and Tiffany & Co.

The alliances come as Burger King, which recently dropped from No. 2 to No. 3 among fast-feeders in the U.S. behind McDonald's and Wendy's, is in the midst of a high-profile menu renovation, supported by marketing featuring the likes of David Beckham, Jay Leno, Salma Hayek and Steven Tyler.

On July 7, USA Basketball will name the roster of players who will represent the U.S. in the Summer Olympics in London. Members of the men's team are expected to include NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and Kevin Durant.

(The women's team will largely be populated from the WNBA with such players as Sue Bird, Maya Moore, Candace Parker, Swin Cash and Diana Taurasi.)

Among the marketing support are two activations similar in nature.

Burger King will unveil a five-cup commemorative series that celebrates four of USA Basketball’s memorable teams over the last two decades. A 20th anniversary cup honors the 1992 gold medal Dream Team, whose roster included Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and Patrick Ewing.

Concurrently, Johnson, Bird, Ewing and fellow Dream Team members David Robinson and Scottie Pippen will be featured on Dr Pepper Snapple Group brands Sunkist, 7UP, A&W root beer, Canada Dry and Sun Drop soft drink cans, respectively, during a summer-long promotion.

A Sunkist promotion will offer exclusive opportunities to watch the USA Basketball Men’s National team during exhibition games in Las Vegas and Barcelona and meet USA Basketball legends.

Burger King said that marketing support would feature TV spots during and courtside signage at USA Basketball exhibition games prior to the Olympics; ads on USABasketball.com; and a promotion offering such prizes as dinner with a USA Basketball legend, the chance to play against a current USA Basketball player and autographed merchandise.

In addition, Burger King and USA Basketball said they would launch a “Your Team. Your Voice.” campaign, which is "intended to "give fans a chance to actively participate in and influence a variety of elements during USA Basketball’s summer exhibition tour." Through digital destinations, fans will be able to select which jersey the team will wear during its exhibition game in Las Vegas (July 12), predict which 12 players could make the final team and other elements.

“This is a special year for USA Basketball and this partnership with these iconic brands will help pay homage to our rich history.”

Burger King's five-cup commemorative series will also honor the U.S. Olympic gold medal teams from 1996 Atlanta, 2000 Sydney and 2008 Bejing, as well the 2012 USA Basketball team.

“Burger King is a brand with a rich heritage and together we’ll give fans new ways to connect with USA Basketball,” said Colangelo. “Through our partnership with Burger King we will commemorate some of the most historic moments in USA Basketball history – including the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team – and celebrate this year's men’s and women’s national teams as they look to represent their country with pride and captivate basketball fans around the world.”

According to Alex Macedo, Burger King svp-North America marketing, "We know the passion that America has for USA Basketball and are excited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Dream Team. We hope everyone in America gets into the game and get to see all five cups at Burger King restaurants.”

Chrysler's Jeep Division Signs As Official Partner With USA Basketball

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