By Barry Janoff
February 13, 2014: Kumho Tire already lists on its sports marketing roster the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
But the company is now adding such stars as Kevin Durant, Kevin Love, Tim Duncan, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the rest of the NBA universe.
Kumho and the NBA have signed a multi-year marketing deal that makes Kumho the official tire of the NBA and NBA Development League in the U.S. and South Korea.
This is the first official league-wide tire partnership for the NBA and D-League and is Kumho Tire’s first partnership with a U.S. sports league. It also is the first major deal signed under the watch of new commissioner Adam Silver.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Kumho Tire, headquartered in South Korea and with U.S. operations based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., has alliances with the two-time defending champion Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The company also has pacts with the NFL's New York Jets and Buffalo Bills and the USC Trojans.
“Kumho Tire has most recently spent our efforts on building an even stronger foundation with our industry partners," Harry Choi, president and CEO for Kumho Tire North America, said in a statement. "We are confident this partnership with the NBA will showcase a new leaf for Kumho Tire that we are here to be aggressive competitors, supportive industry partners to our dealers and distributors, as well as a high-quality and recognizable brand amongst consumers. We look forward to the exponential gain both our companies will obtain through this new venture.”
“Kumho Tire is a global brand, and we are looking forward to creating programs that will engage fans of both the NBA and NBA D-League."
The official tire of both the NFL and NHL is Bridgestone. Sibling Firestone is the official tire of MLB and the IZOD Indy Racing Series. Goodyear is the official tire of Nascar. Continental Tires is the official tire of Major League Soccer.
As part of its partnership, Kumho Tire said it would have branding opportunities during NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans this weekend, Among them, Kumho Tire, will be the presenting partner of the NBA FIT Court at NBA All-Star Jam Session.
Kumho said it is in the process of developing NBA-related marketing creative. It will receive exposure through courtside signage throughout the second half of the current season
During the NBA Playoffs, Kumho Tire will present the “NBA Playoffs Playbacks” series on NBA TV, which will replay the exciting and compelling match-ups from the playoffs in a condensed 60-minute format.
Kumho's activation in the D-League will include presenting partner of the NBA D-League All-Star Game, which is part of the NBA's All-Star Weekend; jersey-front sponsorship of the All-Star Game uniforms; branding on-court, courtside, on pole pads and stanchions; and integration across D-League social and digital media assets.
According to Emilio Collins, NBA svp-global marketing partnerships for the NBA, “Kumho Tire is a global brand, and we are looking forward to creating programs that will engage fans of both the NBA and NBA D-League through new themed advertising, custom content, and activities at marquee league events throughout the season."
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