January 25, 2010: Right Guard, the official deodorant of the NBA, has enhanced its partnership with the league and youth basketball by becoming a founding partner of iHoops, the official joint youth basketball initiative of the NCAA, WNBA and the NBA.
Right Guard joins adidas and Nike as founding partners of iHoops, which was formed last June. Earlier this month, the Amateur Athletic Union became an official endorser of iHoops and its educational and basketball programs. NBA marketing partner Spalding is an official sponsor of the iHoops initiative.
As part of its alliance, Right Guard will become the official sponsor of the Right Guard Total Defense Challenge, a nationwide search to find the "best defensive stopper.” The program, which will run February-July, will seek high school boys between the ages of 14-18. Players, coaches and parents will be directed to iHoops.com to upload video highlights of the player's defensive skills. Thirty winners will receive a trip to an NBA game and will participate in a defensive clinic early next season with an NBA player and members of the iHoops coaching staff.
The NBA said that market support would include a significant iHoops presence at the All-Star Game in Dallas in February. Right Guard's support will include Internet and social media such as Facebook and experiential marketing including on-site at the All-Star Game Jam Session. Full details are at the iHoops Web site. NBA support includes a Right Guard-iHoops event at The NBA Store in New York (on Jan. 27) featuring former basketball stars and defensive standouts Dikembe Mutombo and Bob Lanier.
Right Guard has several sports/basketball-centric products, including Right Guard Sport, Right Guard Clinical, Right Guard Fast Break and its new Right Guard Total Defense 5. Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets is an official endorser of the brand and appears in marketing.
“We are extremely pleased to be partnering with an initiative focused on improving the quality and lives of today’s youth,” Doug Weekes, general manager for Right Guard, said in a statement. “This move with iHoops continues Right Guard’s long-standing history of integrating its ultimate performance message within genuine sports experiences for consumers."
The partnership with iHoops continues Right Guard's effort to reach teen athlete-consumers. This past fall, Right Guard was the presenting sponsor for the inaugural Under Armour All-America Selection Tour, which visited ten high schools to honor the prep football players selected to participate in the 2010 Under Armour All-America Game.
According to Kevin Weiberg, CEO of iHoops. “iHoops is committed to bringing fun, competitive and learning experiences to players, parents and coaches that will contribute to the improvement of their basketball experience. We are pleased to have the support of Right Guard as a founding partner.” iHoops is working to "establish a structure and develop programs to improve the quality of youth basketball in America in order to enhance the athletic, educational, and social experience of the participants."