Adidas, Marketers Hear London Calling For Knicks-Pistons NBA Game In U.K.

By Barry Janoff

January 12, 2013: Adidas, Foot Locker, New Era and Sky Sports are among a bevy of companies that will activate over the coming week in London to support the NBA game between the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons, being played at The O2 on Jan. 17.

For the game, the NBA and adidas have expanded their relationship to make the league’s official global uniform and apparel provider the presenting partner of NBA London Live 2013.

NBA London Live 2013 presented by adidas is a continuation of the alliance between the NBA and Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), which owns The O2. Most recently, as part of the 2012-13 NBA pre-season, two games were played at AEG venues (Istanbul's Ülker Sports Arena and O2 World in Berlin) as part of NBA Europe Live presented by BBVA. Last season, the Toronto Raptors played the then New Jersey Nets in the first regular season NBA games at The O2 London.

“The world watched Europe’s passion for basketball during last summer’s [Olympic Games in London], and we’re excited to partner with the NBA to continue that momentum and grow the game through great fan experiences and products,” Lawrence Norman, adidas vp-global basketball, said in a statement.

The Knicks-Pistons game, which is sold out, will be shown live in U.S. on NBA TV (3 PM ET). It will be preceded by the Pregame Show and followed by NBA GameTime Presented by Hyundai.

It also will live air in the U.K. and Europe.

As presenting partner, adidas said it would "connect with NBA fans globally" through the league’s international broadcast partners and digital platforms including, NBA League Pass International and NBA All-Access fan e-newsletters. In addition, adidas said it would activate a "comprehensive social media campaign around the game," including Facebook and Twitter.

The NBA is also activating behind the game on social media destinations such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.

Regarding the NBA's return to London, according to NBA commissioner David Stern, “London was the epicenter of global sports this summer, and the Olympics were a tremendous showcase for basketball."

"NBA London Live 2013 presented by adidas is a great showcase of our game and provides adidas with an excellent opportunity to connect with NBA fans."

On game day, adidas will have signage throughout The O2, including two logos "prominently featured on the court," according to the league.

Adidas will also conduct on-court fan competitions and be presenting partner of pre-game NBA London Live 2013 Party that will see guests and celebrities entertained "in an exclusive central London location" on the evening of Jan. 16.

Adidas has joined with Foot Locker in the U.K. offering tickets, travel and accommodations to the game via a dedicated Facebook page. (Full details here.)

Both teams will wear commemorative NBA London Live 2013 presented by adidas shooting shirts to mark the occasion, with additional Knicks and Pistons merchandise available in-arena and at retail outlets, including the adidas Store on London’s Oxford Street.

Fans and consumers can also get New Era hats for NBA London Live 2013. The company said that today (Jan. 12) through Jan. 21, it would “give fans exclusive access to NBA headwear and to celebrate the game with various competitions and prizes.”

New Era said it is remaking its Stratford Store at Westfield Stratford City into The NBA Room. The space will include a basketball hoop for the Slam Dunk 180 competition (for a chance to win New Era gift cards) and also would be offering consumers the chance to win a basketball "signed by an NBA team."

NBA London Live 2013 presented by adidas will be televised live in the U.K. on Sky Sports. The media company is offering members of its Sky Backstage loyalty program the opportunity to win tickets to the game, plus a chance "to mingle with some NBA legends, cheerleaders and team mascots in our exclusive Sky Backstage area." (Full details here.).

The game will also be available live on mobile, online and tablet devices via Sky Go, as well as on BBC Radio 5 Live.

The O2 partners include Visa, Nestle, Nissan, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Coca-Cola.

“We are delighted to expand our long-standing global partnership and have adidas serve as the presenting partner of this historic NBA event,” Benjamin Morel, svp-NBA Europe, said in a statement. “NBA London Live 2013 presented by adidas is a great showcase of our game and provides adidas with an excellent opportunity to connect with NBA fans in the U.K. and across Europe through a range of exciting in-arena, media and retail promotions.”

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