Turner Network Television is bringing its affiliates into all of the marketing hoopla surrounding the
National Basketball Association's All-Star Weekend next month.
Through Turner Network Sales, about 100 TNT affiliates will be tying into the
NBA's Feb. 9 All-Star Game -- the first in prime time and TNT's first crack at
covering that game -- plus various All-Star Weekend events Feb. 7 through 9, all in
Turner's own Atlanta backyard.
The affiliate tie-in promotions, which include marketing and local ad-sales
elements, are: the "TNT NBA All-Star Experience"; the "NBA Season Pass Promotion";
and the "NBA on TNT Local All-Star Promotion," TNS senior vice president of
marketing Coleman Breland said last week.
In addition, he said, TNS worked with three MSOs on customized promotions: the
"TNT NBA All-Star Experience" consumer sweepstakes with Time Warner Cable; the
client-targeted "Top Dollars for Top Programs" for Cox Communications Inc.; and an
NBA All-Star exclusive incentive package for Comcast Corp.'s Atlanta system.
Affiliates participating in Season Pass in 25 markets will get two tickets
to the game and hospitality events in exchange for running 350 tune-in promos
starting Jan. 17. There's also an electronics prize package, with a Philips Consumer Electronics
color TV set among the prizes, Philips is an NBA sponsor.
Atlanta, Denver, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Phoenix are among the
The Experience promotion was put together exclusively for Time Warner
systems in 15 markets, Breland said.
One winner in each market will get a trip to Atlanta for the big weekend, and
one grand-prize winner will get a 2003 Jeep Liberty -- the automaker is another NBA
Local All-Star is a sales-incentive promotion involving systems across
eight markets. Charter is represented in four markets, Comcast in three and Time
Warner in one. Turner suggested that operators use the various tickets and prize
packs either to drive subscriber campaigns or as an incentive for its sales force.
Cox's Top Dollars is also a sales-incentive program.
On the network side, TNT launched what it dubbed a "full-court press" in
marketing behind for the game and the weekend, combined coverage of which will
consume some 12 hours, many with presenting sponsors attached.
Starting with the All-Star Celebrity Game Feb. 7, the weekend will include
the "Got Milk? Rookie Challenge," the Gatorade-sponsored "All-Star Preview" special,
the America Online Inc.-sponsored "NBA All-Star Saturday Night" special (including
the "Jeep All-Star Hoop It Up," "1-800-CALLATT Shootout" and the "Sprite Rising
Stars Slam Dunk") and the Hyundai-sponsored "Inside the NBA All-Stars Edition"
leading into the Feb. 9 All-Star Game itself.
TNT's marketing blitz will encompass not just on-air cross-channel spots, but
ads in various newspapers' TV supplements and in eight major magazines, spots on
radio stations in 12 markets, a three-minute featurette running in Regal Cinema
theaters, outdoor billboards, direct mail and online.