[T]he NBA’s All-Star Weekend is a crucial time for brands, who seek to take advantage of the marketing power of the weekend.
The big game returned to New York after a 17-year vacancy and is expected to earn the Big Apple about $200 million in additional revenue.
Brands hawking everything from sneakers and games to movies and electronics locked up copious amounts of ad space during the “NBA All-Star All-Style” and the “All-Star Saturday Night” skills challenge.
The telecast of the actual game is expected to draw over 7 million viewers.
Representatives for TNT, which is broadcasting the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, said this is the most advertising revenue the company has booked in the history of its showing the game.
Athletes like Russell Westbrook, Kyree Lewis and even 13-year-old baseball phenom, Mo’ne Davis, have taken advantage of the fanfare and hype surrounding the All-Star game.
This year, a number of athletes and celebrities used the weekend as a platform to launch new products into the marketplace.
Russell Westbrook “Kickstarts” Mountain Dew Campaign
Russell Westbrook joined Mountain Dew’s “Dew Nation,” as the newest face of Mountain Dew’s Kickstart drink. A new advertising campaign will debut this weekend, featuring Westbrook. “Becoming part of DEW Nation just felt really organic and authentic for me,” said Westbrook. “The brand is an instigator – it’s about creativity and looking at life through your own lens and living it the way you want to live it. Those are all attributes that are core to who I am.”
The New KYRIE 1
Kyrie Irving, Footlocker and Nike teamed up to drop a new advertisement for the latest KYRIE 1 sneaker. The :30 second advertisement features cultural icon and hip-hop veteran Ice-T acting along Irving in a humorous spot. “I’ve had the opportunity to work with Foot Locker on some pretty hilarious commercials, and I’m hoping my fans will find my acting skills in this spot equally amusing,” said Irving. “February at Foot Locker is always a special time of year with an insane amount of new footwear and apparel. I’m honored to have the KYRIE 1 be a part of it.”
Under Armour And Jamie Foxx
Under Armour announced the brand’s biggest ever global advertising campaign will feature shooting champ Stephen Curry and singer/actor,Jamie Foxx. Under Armour will market and promote a series of short films starring Jamie Foxx, with the debut telling the story of Curry’s rise in the NBA. “Stephen Curry is the hottest player in the NBA right now, and this film tells the story of his tough journey to get there,” said Foxx. “With the season he’s having, everybody is acting as if they believed in his talent from the start, but he had to fight his way up from day one, through high school, to putting a small college on the map, to dominating in the league.” The spot will debut during the All-Star game on February 15.
Alonzo Mourning and Rizk Ventures
Alonzo Mourning and his wife Tracy Wilson-Mourning teamed with investment firm Rizk Ventures and co-hosteda “FUNraiser” featuring a round table with Gayle King and rap legend MC Lyte. The NBA star’s “Zo’s All-Star Weekend Groove with a Purpose” was the first official event of All-Star weekend. The event raised the funds for the Mourning Family Foundation, which serves at risk children. “Our event brought together individuals of influence to celebrate All-Star Weekend and, more importantly, to give back to our community and discuss the powerful impact we can have nationwide,” said Tracy Wilson-Mourning.
Mo’ne Davis Launches New Sneaker
League World Series phenomenon Mo’ne Davis has launched her new line of sneakers. The new kicks were launched in collaboration with M4D3 (Make A Difference Everyday). The company bills itself as a “social purpose footwear company.” Proceeds from Davis’ sneaker will benefit the “Because I am a Girl” initiative featuring the 13-year-old, who put the moves on Kevin Hart during the celebrity basketball game at Madison Square Garden over the weekend. “I never thought at the age of 13 I’d be a role model, but having young girls look up to me is pretty cool. If I can inspire them to reach their goals, that would be even cooler,” says Davis. “Designing shoes with M4D3 is exciting, and to know they’ll help girls in need around the world is a great feeling!”
James Harden Turns Pain Into Profit
All-Star player James Harden is monetizing his body by endorsing a line of medical tape he has worn for years, to prevent injuries. Harden and KT Tape announced a new partnership that will feature Harden as a spokesman for the brand. The campaign will feature Harden demonstrating the benefits of kinesiology tape for serious athletes and weekend warriors. “I’ve been a big fan of kinesiology therapeutic tape ever since I was introduced to it years ago as it’s helped me stay competitive throughout the long NBA season when my body endures a lot of physical strains,” said Harden. “Recently I was turned onto KT Tape and I could instantly feel the difference in quality on my body. By wearing KT Tape on injury prone areas, I feel like it decreases the chance of injury, and it also helps accelerate my healing while still allowing me to play my game without limitation.”