February 15, 2011: Just in time for All-Star Game activation, the NBA and Coca-Cola have signed a multi-year extension of their global marketing partnership, which dates back to 1986.
Under terms of the deal, Sprite, which has been the official soft drink of the NBA in the U.S. since 1994, will take a lead brand position in worldwide efforts. Financial terms of the extension were not disclosed.
Domestically, Sprite will continue to sponsor such programs as the Sprite Slam Dunk event during NBA All-Star weekend, which is has supported since 2003; and the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown competition, which determines the best amateur dunker in North America via a grassroots tour and online fan-participation component.
This year's Sprite Slam Dunk competitors are scheduled to be Blake Griffin, Brandon Jennings, Serge Ibaka and JaVale McGee.
The second edition of the Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown is currently underway, and the four finalists will compete for the contest title and $10,000 grand prize at NBA All-Star 2011 in Los Angeles.
Sprite will also "conduct a variety of NBA-themed activities, including events, digital promotions, grassroots programs and under-the-cap promotions to connect with NBA fans worldwide," according to Coca-Cola.
Beginning this year, Sprite advertising will appear during international telecasts of NBA games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 42 languages. In addition, Sprite will join the NBA for a series of grassroots programs that encourage kids in Mexico, Africa and elsewhere to play basketball.
Coca-Cola has also reached a new multi-year marketing partnership with the WNBA, an alliance that began with the 2010 WNBA season.
“Our partnership with the NBA offers the flexibility and collaboration to create innovative marketing programs that spark the connection between Sprite and basketball fans."
“Our partnership with the NBA offers the flexibility and collaboration to create innovative marketing programs that spark the connection between Sprite and basketball fans,” Beatriz Perez, CMO for Coca-Cola North America, said in a statement. “Through programs like Sprite Slam Dunk, which it has supported since 2003; Sprite Slam Dunk Showdown and others, we’re able to communicate with people online, on television, through mobile technology, locally and at retail, so that we’re in touch with NBA fans wherever they are.”
According to Mark Tatum, NBA evp-global marketing partnerships, “For more than two decades, The Coca-Cola Company has been one of the NBA’s most committed and active marketing partners. Sprite is an exciting and vibrant brand that maintains a meaningful connection to the younger consumers that also make up a valuable segment of our fan-base. We look forward to working together to develop more exciting and innovative NBA experiences that will resonate with this audience around the world.”