Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
November 2, 2012: Global retailer Wal-Mart has signed a multi-year deal making it title sponsor of the Carrier Classic, a college basketball event that will take place next week the flight deck of the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier docked at Patriot's Point, Charleston, SC.
For the second annual Carrier Classic, two games on Nov. 9 will feature the men's hoops teams from Ohio State and Marquette, and the women's hoops teams from Notre Dame and Ohio State.
The games will be telecast live on NBC Sports Network.
Financial terms of the deal with Wal-Mart were not disclosed. Wal-Mart replaces Quicken Loans as title sponsor. Quickens Loans remains a sponsor of the Carrier Classic.
The inaugural Carrier Classic was played last November between North Carolina and Michigan State on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson, docked in San Diego. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were among those in attendance. The women's game was added beginning this year.
As was the case last year, the 2012 Wal-Mart Carrier Classic is being played on Veterans' Day weekend and includes major support from and for veterans and the Armed Forces.
Sponsors also include American Airlines, Applebee's, Coca-Cola, Coors Light, EA Sports, JetBlue, LucasFilm, Miller High Life, PowerAde, Quicken Loans, Sears and Southwest Airlines.
Wal-Mart said that support would be anchored by a veteran's appreciation campaign to "promote awareness of the event and encourage every American to share a message of thanks to the over 25 million active duty and veterans who serve our country."
Activation includes a social media campaign on Wal-Mart's Facebook page (where visitors can send a note of appreciation to veterans via text, photos and videos; an in-store promotion in more than 3,300 Wal-Mart locations; and game-day TV ads.
Morale Entertainment Foundation, producers of the Carrier Classic, will support via social media, TV and radio promotion. Messages collected on the Carrier Classic and Wal-Mart's Facebook pages "will be a part of the game production both in-venue and during telecast on NBC Sports Network," according to Morale Entertainment.
"We can now deliver every American's message of 'Thank You' into the largest-ever veteran's appreciation campaign for all those who have served our country."
"With Wal-Mart's support we can now deliver every American's simple message of 'Thank You' into the largest-ever veteran's appreciation campaign for all those who have served our country and the over 25 million active duty and veterans," Ken Kinnear, director for Morale Entertainment Foundation, said in a statement. "These messages from Wal-Mart customers will be an integral part of our game content and experience."
Separately, ESPN said that its College GameDay Built by The Home Depot on Nov. 10 would originate from the flight deck of the USS San Diego, currently home-ported at Naval Base San Diego. The broadcast is part of ESPN’s fourth annual America’s Heroes: A Salute to Our Veterans, which will honor veterans and troops in programming across ESPN’s U.S. media platforms.
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