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NBA, Sears Hit The Road To Support Protégé B-Ball Shoes

July 13, 2009: Sears Holding has signed a deal with the NBA and siblings WNBA and the NBA Development League to support Protégé, a low-cost line of basketball shoes sold exclusively at Sears and Kmart. The line was created by Al Harrington, now with the New York Knicks, when he was a member of the Golden State Warriors. The initial component of the alliance will be a Protégé Basketball Block Party, a touring grassroots event that will make stops in eight cities throughout the summer, beginning this week in Los Angeles and later visiting New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlanta, Miami, Detroit, and Chicago. The Protégé Basketball Block Party will be promoted via TV, radio, print and online content.

Stephen Jackson of the Warriors, who was a teammate of Harrington's at Golden State, has been endorsing the line. WNBA players Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury) and DeLisha Milton-Jones (Los Angeles Sparks) are also endorsers. The line, with an average SRP of $34.99, follows in the footsteps of Stephon Marbury's Starbury, which is now sold online but had been exclusive to Steve & Barry's at $14.98 before the retailer went out of business. Kmart earlier this year broke a multi-media effort for Protégé shoes and apparel, via Draftfcb, Chicago, "Meet My Protégé."

The Protégé Basketball Block Party is an 18-wheel, 53-foot show truck that transforms into a 4,500 square foot basketball playground. The events will feature free on- and off-court interactive activities including shooting contests, measure-up activities, basketball clinics and appearances by current and former NBA, WNBA and NBA D-League players.

“This program is another example of how we work with our partners to create exciting and interactive basketball activities that engage the dedicated fan bases of the NBA, WNBA, and NBA Development League," Mark Tatum, NBA evp-marketing partnerships, said in a statement. The NBA has been active during the offseason, including its new deal in which Taco Bell replaced McDonald's as the league's official QSR.

Kmart Bringing Back Low-Cost NBA Shoes

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