NBA Heads To 2011 All-Star Game With New Deals, Marketing, Justin Bieber

February 2, 2011: The NBA is rolling toward its 2011 All-Star Game at full speed, unveiling new partnerships for the upcoming event at Staples Center in Los Angeles as well as marketing alliances that will continue into the post-season.

Among them:

BBVA, the official bank of the NBA, has expanded its deal to become title partner of the All-Star Celebrity Game at the Los Angeles Convention Center, site of NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas, on Feb. 18.

NBA Hoop Troop, the league’s interactive youth platform created  in partnership with Cartoon Network  and targeting kids 6-12, has unveiled details of a multi-media campaign that includes All-Star Game festivities.

• SonoSite, which specializes in bedside and point-of-care ultrasound technology, has been named presenting sponsor of the NBA D-League All-Star Game on Feb. 19.

• Thomson Sport, one of the leading sports tour operators in the U.K., has agreed to a multi-year partnership making it the official presenting partner of NBA Games – London 2011 and the NBA’s official European fan travel partner.

As the title partner of the 2011 BBVA NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, the bank will have prominent exposure throughout Center Court during the game, which will air on ESPN. In addition, the NBA and BBVA, through its "Team. Works. In Schools." initiative to refurbish schools throughout BBVA Compass’ Sunbelt, footprint, BBVA Compass will help refurbish Virgil Middle School in L.A. during the NBA’s All-Star Day of Service.  

This year’s celebrity participants are scheduled to include Justin Bieber, Jimmy Kimmel, Ty Burrell (Modern Family), Zach Levi (Chuck), Jason Alexander and Common. Former NBA players who are scheduled to participate include Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen, AC Green, B.J. Armstrong, Chris Mullin and Jalen Rose.

BBVA was named this week at the Sports Marketer of the Year by the readers of NYSportsJournalism.

Amar'e Stoudemire will start for the East sqaud wearing a new jersey from adidas.The NBA said that its Hoop Troop marketing effort would include programming digital, print, and TV components. As an extension of the NBA’s joint venture with Turner Sports, includes a mix of video, original programming, streamlined scores and standings, games, interactive features, a membership component, and other league and partner content.

Every Sunday, the NBA, in partnership with Cartoon Network, is airing Run It Back, a one-hour cut-down version of one of TNT’s Thursday games with pop-up graphics, trivia and interstitials. In addition, the "Shot Clock Shopping Spree" is a nationwide promotion launching at NBA All-Star Jam Session presented by adidas. The event will offer kids the chance to enter a sweepstakes online or in person. The three grand-prize winners will receive a shopping spree in New York with an NBA player. (Full details here.) 

"Basketball is the number one team sport played by children in the U.S., presenting an enormous opportunity for the NBA to build on this interest in our game," Brian Flinn, NBA svp-marketing, said in a statement . "When people have an interest in the NBA at an early age, they are much more likely to be passionate and avid fans as adults."

As official European fan travel partner, Thomson Sport will offer fans exclusive travel packages to the NBA’s first  regular-season games in Europe, as well as future games played on the continent. NBA Games – London 2011, presented by Thomson Sport, will feature two games between the New Jersey Nets and the Toronto Raptors at The O2 in London, March 4 -5, 2011.

Thomson Sport will also offer  packages for European fans to attend NBA games in the U.S. and Canada, and will have the opportunity to offer travel packages for fans in the U.S. to attend NBA games played in Europe.

As presenting partner of NBA Games – London 2011, Thomson Sport will support NBA Basketball Week, a week-long series of basketball events that will take place across the U.K. from Feb. 25 -March 5, culminating in the NBA Fan Zone, a dedicated interactive fan event taking place in London to coincide with the Nets-Raptors games.

In addition to package rights, Thomson Sport will receive prominent brand exposure around the games held at The O2 in March, as well as on, where the company will present a new editorial feature highlighting its travel offerings.

According to Sophie Goldschmidt, svp-NBA Europe, “Our first-ever regular-season games in Europe are a milestone for the NBA, and Thomson Sport is an ideal partner to present this showcase of our game . . . Thomson Sport will play an important role in supporting this celebration of basketball and helping to deliver an authentic NBA experience for fans across the U.K.” 

"Basketball is the number one team sport played by children in the U.S., presenting an enormous opportunity for the NBA to build on this interest."

SonoSite's new roll as presenting sponsor of the fifth D-League All-Star Game expands upon a deal the company signed this past October that made it the "preferred provider" of ultrasound products to both the NBA and D-League. According to D-League president Dan Reed, 20% of the players on the end-of-season NBA rosters in 2009-10 had D-League experience.

At the 60th NBA All-Star Game, all of the players will be wearing new uniforms from official provider adidas. The company said it would be the first time players have the option to wear TechFit PowerWeb jerseys or Revolution 30 jerseys. Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls will unveil during the game the adiRose Zero 1 and 1.5 basketball shoes while Eastern Conference teammate Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic will be wearing the new adidas Super Beast shoes.

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