Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
February 9, 2015: In anticipation of the NBA All-Star Game and related events, Panini America and the New York MTA want to make sure that as many people as possible get carded this week.
In separate campaigns, Panini and sporting goods retailer Modell's are teaming this week to offer an 11-card set (ten All-Stars and rookie Andrew Wiggins) as a preview of Panini's upcoming 2014-15 Donruss Basketball collection (to be released later this month).
In a separate campaign, the NBA has purchased through New York's mass transit MTA a double-sided ad run of 600,000 MetroCards for distribution to support All-Star Game-related events this weekend in Barclays Center in Brooklyn and Madison Square Garden in Manhattan, as well as other NBA activations throughout the city.
The Panini America set includes cards of Anthony, LeBron James, Stephen Curry, John Wall, Marc Gasol, Pau Gasol, Kobe Bryant, Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin.
A set of six commemorative All-Star patches also has been produced, for distribution with a related purchase. (See details here.)
In addition, Panini American is sponsoring within Modell's Times Square location autograph sessions this weekend with NBA players. (See details here.)
The MTA, which said it produces 4-5 million MetroCards a month, is running a multi-media campaign to support the Metro cards, similar to the effort last year with the New York/New Jersey Super Bowl Host Committee to commemorate Super Bowl XLVIII.
In addition, a special ten-car subway train now in service on the S line features exterior and interior wraps with NBA All-Star and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony.
“Both of the venues for this year’s All-Star Game events are on top of major transportation hubs for Long Island Rail Road and New York City subways and easily reached by several local bus lines,” Paul Fleuranges, the MTA’s senior director of corporate and internal communications, said in a statement. “Whether it’s the bus, commuter rail or the subway, the MTA is the best way to get to the games without having to worry about traffic or parking.”