By Barry Janoff
November 7, 2013: Rajon Rondo of the Boston Celtics loves to shop for clothes, Mike Scott of the Atlanta Hawks enjoys photo-bombing his teammates, Orlando Magic rookie guard Victor Oladipo gets on stage and sings classics from Bill Withers and members of the Oklahoma City Thunder are adapt at selling cars.
All this and other adventures of NBA players are now accessible to people at Off the Court, a new Web destination from the league and American Express, the official credit card of the NBA, WNBA, and NBA D-League.
The site, housed on NBA.com, is an aggregation of articles from other sites and blogs that cover the NBA 24/7, filtered to eliminate the tedious discussions of Jordan vs. LeBron and Dwight Howard of the Houston Rockets vs. Dwight Howard of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Here, it's all about the fashion, music, food, travel and lifestyles of NBA players.
“The excitement of the NBA goes far beyond what happens on the court,” Deborah Curtis,vp-sports & entertainment marketing for American Express, said in a statement. “We saw an opportunity to create a new destination where fans can go to see the person behind the player, and connect with the game in a completely new and intimate way. With our NBA partnership, we want to redefine the way that fans experience the game by giving basketball fans a chance to celebrate and explore shared passions with NBA players they love.”
As part of the launch, Off the Court is running the first of a multi-part video series featuring four-time NBA All-Star Rajon Rondo and his love of fashion. Future videos will include two-time NBA champion Chris Bosh and NBA All-Star Joakim Noah discussing their own off-the-court passions.
To help keep the site sticky, visitors will be able to participate in live video chats with NBA players, legends and coaches, hosted by former NBA player Rick Fox.
An "Off the Court Challenge" will give visitors access to special offers, ticket and merchandise promotions from NBATickets.com and NBAStore.com, plus the opportunity via American Express to win such experiences as premium game tickets and meet-and- greets with NBA players. (Details here.)
According to Emilio Collins, svp-global marketing partnerships for the NBA, “Our partnership with American Express has been defined by our collaboration to provide all NBA fans with unique live experiences and insider perspectives on our game. The launch of Off the Court gives fans access to a wealth of new and exciting NBA content and reinforces American Express’ commitment to innovation.”