BBVA, the official bank of the NBA is sponsoring the NBA All-Star 2012, which includes the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge. The former has NBA rookies facing off against sophomores. The new Rising Stars Challenge has rookies and sophomores playing together on teams.
TNT Analysts Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal will serve as the general managers of two opposing teams, each with nine man rosters, consisting of NBA rookies and sophomores drafted from a pool that was previously selected by the NBA’s assistant coaches.
TNT will carry the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, as will ESPN Radio. The Association says NBA.com will serve live audio in multiple languages (NBA games are broadcast to 215 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.)
The network's Kenny Smith will serve as the honorary Commissioner and Ernie Johnson will host the live BBVA Rising Stars Challenge Draft on Thursday, Feb. 16, on NBA TV.
BBVA will have a presence prior to the game in promotional materials and during the game through on-court decals, courtside signage, in-arena activities, and during the televised broadcast, per the NBA. Rookies and sophomores will wear custom BBVA Rising Stars Challenge patches on their jerseys during the game, and the bank will also be the new title partner of the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge practice to be held at NBA All-Star Jam Session on Feb. 24. The practice will also be broadcast on NBA TV.
“The BBVA Rising Stars Challenge is an innovative approach to a traditional All-Star event that features our game’s most exciting first and second year players competing on a grand stage,” said Mark Tatum, NBA Executive Vice President of Global Marketing Partnerships. “BBVA is an ideal title partner for this event where the best young players in our game will be showcased to a global audience.”