NBA Horseplay: Geico Shoots For Sponsorship

Basketball and hoop Geico will be the official sponsor of the game of "Horse" basketball at this year's NBA All-Star 2009, scheduled for Feb. 14 in Phoenix--except it's going to be "Geico" basketball this time around.

"Horse" is part of a larger two-hour special, "Inside the NBA," presented by Hyundai and airing from 5-7 p.m. EST. The insurance company best-known for its lizard spokesman will get a variety of brand integrations during the telecast, including on-air graphics, scoreboard signage and promotion.

It also features an NBA All-Star Block Party presented by Right Guard.

For those who are unfamiliar with "Horse," the game calls for a semicircle of players, usually standing at the 3-point line, to shoot hoops with moves of their choosing. The other players then have to imitate it. Each time a player misses a basket, he or she adds a letter to spell the word "Horse." When the player reaches the end of "horse," they are out. In this instance, they will spell out G-E-I-C-O.



The game encourages showboating and trick shots as players try to force each other out.

The deal, put together by Horizon Media, is particularly well-suited for Geico--given the insurance provider's brand position, which encourages consumers to compare its costs with competitors. Viewers may be subtly reminded of the brand attribute by the game's theme of imitation and comparison.

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