AutoTrader.com Extends Deal With NBA

The multi-year extension with the National Basketball Association makes AutoTrader.com presenting sponsor of the pregame show, "NBA Tip-Off," on both TNT and NBA TV before some 149 regular-season games.

AutoTrader.com will also be presenting sponsor of the "Drive to the Finals" fantasy game on NBA.com during the NBA Playoffs, the winner of which gets $25,000 toward the purchase of a vehicle listed on AutoTrader.com. AutoTrader.com will also be the presenting partner of the "Player Stats Comparison" on NBA.com.

In addition to the AutoTrader.com logo being on the "NBA Tip-Off" host's desk and on court, AutoTrader.com will be the prominent commercial advertiser during NBA broadcasts on TNT and NBA TV throughout the season, per the Atlanta-based company.

And AutoTrader.com gets branding during the NBA All-Star 2009 match in Phoenix and the NBA Playoffs.

During the course of the upcoming seasons, AutoTrader.com will be heavily promoted across integrated media properties including NBA.com, NBA TV and NBA Mobile Assets.

John Kovac, senior director of advertising at AutoTrader.com, says that the company has had a presence with NBA for the past two years, all season. "This is our third year as a full-season sponsor on TNT."

He says the company will be running current ads during game broadcasts, including the "big guy" spot in which a Paul Bunyanesque gentleman compares cars by picking them up. The giant will play a part in some custom features within the pre-game specials, per Kovac. "One is player comparison where you have the giant walk up to a stadium, rip the roof off, and pick two players up and compare them. It helps deliver our 'comparison' message."

Kovac says AutoTrader.com is involved in both baseball and football, but not to the extent it is with the NBA. "We do have Major League Baseball team sponsorships in a number of different markets," he says, adding that AutoTrader.com sponsors the New York Yankees, Baltimore Cubs, Los Angeles Angels, Atlanta Braves, and Philadelphia Phillies MLB with activation both in local media and on site, and with the New England Patriots NFL team.

"But this is unique for us," he says. "It has taken a few years for us to form and strengthen this relationship and try different elements; we have been building, and it has worked well for us."

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