Your client hooping it up at NBA All-Star Weekend
This year's event takes place in New Orleans at two arenas
February 13, 2017
NBA fans are an affluent and diverse bunch. Advertisers find them attractive because this young group can be difficult to find via other media.
The NBA All-Star Game is a good place to reach them.
The game takes place in New Orleans on Sunday, though it originally had been slated for Charlotte.
The NBA moved it to New Orleans last summer, taking a stand against North Carolina’s controversial law demanding transgender people use the bathroom that matches the sex on their birth certificate.
The league says the 2019 All-Star game will take place in Charlotte if “there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.”
In New Orleans, the league gets a city that knows how to host a big-time sporting event. It hosted the 2014 and 2008 All-Star games, and it has also hosted multiple Super Bowls and NCAA Final Fours.
Sunday’s game is just one part of NBA All-Star Weekend. The weekend includes other events, many of them sponsored, such as a celebrity game and annual slam dunk contest.
To find out how to get your client at the NBA All-Star game, read on.
This is one in a Media Life series on buying out-of-home venues. They appear weekly.
Advertising and sponsorship at NBA All-Star Weekend.
The NBA handles sponsorships of its big events throughout the weekend, as well as TV-visible inventory. Non-official sponsors can also target NBA fans in New Orleans using other OOH means, such as billboards, buses or street teams.
How it works
On Friday, the Superdome will host the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, which will include Mark Cuban, Nick Cannon and actor Tom Cavanagh. Later that night, Smoothie King Center (home of the New Orleans Pelicans) will host the BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, which is basically an all-star game for younger players.
During the day on Saturday the Superdome will host NBA All-Star Practice sessions, as well as an all-star game for the NBA developmental league.
That night Smoothie King Center will host State Farm All-Star Saturday Night, which includes a handful of sponsored events. The night will kick off with the Taco Bell Skills Challenge, followed by the JBL Three-Point Contest and the Verizon Slam Dunk.
All-Star Saturday Night events will air on TNT, as will Sunday night’s All-Star Game at Smoothie King Center.
The NBA usually hosts a Jam Session fan fest in the All-Star Game host city. That’s not happening this year, however, due to the late change in host city. The league does say there will be free family friendly events in and around the Superdome.
For the bigger events, advertising inventory is what you’d expect. There are arena ads alongside the playing court, ads on the scoreboard and ads in game programs.
Local vendors can also help advertisers that aren’t officially associated with the NBA target basketball fans near the action, through street teams handing out samples or billboard inventory near the arenas.
Smoothie King Center has a basketball capacity of 18,500. Thousands more will attend events at the Superdome.
Advertisers receive lots of impressions via TV coverage. Last year’s game averaged 7.6 million viewers on TNT, a three-year high. The All-Star Saturday Night event averaged another 5.6 million viewers.
How it is measured
Event attendance is tracked, and TV ratings for bigger events are also used.
What product categories work well
Frequent NBA advertisers and sponsors include banking/financial, auto, fast food, telecom, consumer electronics and insurance.
Avid NBA fans are 64 percent male and 36 percent female, according to Scarborough Research.
Eighteen percent have annual household incomes between $50,000 and $75,000, with 13 percent between $75,000 and $100,000, 10 percent between $100,000 and $150,000 and 7 percent at $150,000 or more.
Eighteen percent are age 18-24, 19 percent 25-34, 19 percent 35-44, 17 percent 45-54, 12 percent 55-64; and 15 percent 65-plus.
Making the buy
Top-level sponsorships are negotiated years in advance and are often multi-year deals. Most of the local billboard inventory is secured for All-Star Weekend, but last-minute advertisers can still execute OOH campaigns such as street teams or other on-the-ground promotions.
Who’s already at NBA All-Star Weekend
Recent or current NBA All-Star advertisers include State Farm, Kia, Verizon, Taco Bell, BBVA Compass, JBL and Kumho Tire.
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