By Barry Janoff
January 14, 2013: The NBA has added another marketer to its potent All-Star weekend of events, signing a deal that makes national retailer Sears the title sponsor of Shooting Stars, a skills competition during All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
As part of Sears Shooting Stars, which leads off the evening of events on Feb. 16, Sears will have exposure onsite in Houston and the Toyota Center and marketing during the broadcast on TNT. In addition, Sears will get a branded area at NBA All-Star Jam Session in the George R. Brown Convention Center.
NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm also includes the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, the Foot Locker Three-Point Contest and the Sprite Slam Dunk. The All-Star Game will be played Feb. 17.
The event had been sponsored by Haier.
Long-term, Sears said it plans to support the NBA throughout the season at events including the NBA Draft presented by State Farm, the NBA Summer League, WNBA Inspiring Women National Awards luncheon and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony.
As part of its All-Star Game activation, Sears is offering one "Shop Your Way" rewards loyalty club member the chance to present the Sears Shooting Stars championship trophy to the winning team during an on-court presentation live on TNT. In addition, loyalty members will have the opportunity to "take photos with Sears Shooting Stars participants prior to the contest, receive tickets to NBA All-Star events and meet an NBA legend." (Full details here.)
“NBA fans — like Sears customers — are loyal and passionate, so this is a great strategic fit,” Jim Kunihiro, vp/CMO for Sears, said in a statement. “Bringing the excitement of NBA All-Star Weekend and these exclusive NBA rewards to our 'Shop Your Way' rewards members is another example of how we’ve created a program unlike any other social commerce experience.”
The Sears Shooting Stars contest features one current NBA player, one current WNBA player and one TNT on-air talent/NBA legend on each team seeking to score from a series of locations with increasing difficulty.
According to Rachel Jacobson, NBA svp-global marketing partnerships, “Sears is an iconic brand with a long-history of connecting with consumers and a great addition to NBA All-Star 2013. Sears Shooting Stars is one of our marquee events at NBA All-Star and through this relationship we will engage with fans through the event and the Sears Shop Your Way rewards program.”
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