On Saturday, Web-based automotive marketplace AutoTrader.com was sole sponsor of the outdoor NBA pre-season game between The Phoenix Suns and Golden State Warriors, the "AutoTrader.com Open." But the game was just the beginning of the second season of AutoTrader.com's three-year partnership with NBA and TNT.
At the AutoTrader.com Open, the company had center court title partner recognition, its logo on tickets, signage inside and outside the venue, custom broadcast commercial break wipes and rejoins, commercial spots during the game broadcast and branding on the NBA on TNT Tip-Off Show courtside booth prior to the game.
Starting later this month, AutoTrader.com will be presenting partner of the NBA Tip-Off pre-game show on TNT and of NBA TV's pre-game show.
Amanda Floyd, manager of consumer advertising for the Atlanta-based company, tells Marketing Daily that much of what the AutoTrader does this year will be consistent with the 2008-09 season.
"What we really like is that it goes beyond 30-second TV advertising," she says, adding that the company is reaching for 18-year-old to 40-something adults.
The pre-game show, kicking off the regular season at the end of October, features Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, and lots of AutoTrader branding. "When you tune in, you will see our name on the desk and our signage on the background. We really have the whole set," says Floyd.
While the company will have ad buys on TNT and NBA TV throughout the season and a presence during events like the NBA All-Star 2010 and the NBA Playoffs, the company will not -- at least initially -- bring new ad creative to the buy. "We will be airing our current 'Armada' and 'Big Guy' creative," says Floyd. "But we are actually in the planning phase right now for 2010."
Beyond basketball, the company this year also had a deal with ESPN around Major League Baseball, and Fox Sports around NFL Sunday and Monday games.