Wednesday, December 26, 2012

TMA: A “BIG Color” Menagerie: Sponsorships on Parade

If you’re a sports fan who hasn’t been living under a rock, you most likely saw one of the five NBA games during the 12-hour Christmas marathon on ABC and ESPN yesterday. Even if you missed the games, you’ve likely seen this commercial for Adidas’ BIG Color jerseys worn by the ten teams playing on Christmas. The commercial has been viewed over 7.6 million times on the league’s YouTube page, and features Dwight Howard, Russell Westbrook, Dwayne Wade, Joe Johnson and Carmelo Anthony bouncing basketballs to the tune of “Carol of the Bells.” As Tim Nudd reported last month, the NBA doesn’t have the only commercial featuring the popular holiday song, however. Many of the views of the NBA spot featured a pre-roll Craftsman commercial with the same premise, causing some unrest.

In any case, the NBA had a massive showing; outside the Playoffs and All-Star Game, this might be the NBA’s biggest day of the season. The NBA wasted no time, displaying matchups between historic powerhouses (like Boston, New York Knicks, Chicago, and Lakers), top dogs (Miami, Clippers, and Oklahoma City), and newcomers (like Brooklyn and the Beardsanity-lead Houston Rockets). With the stars on display, the league sponsors also went all out: Sprint, Nike, BBVA, Kia, State Farm, and 20th Century Fox all have NBA-related commercials that were showcased during the basketball marathon. If this wasn’t enough, league stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe “insert negative epithet” Bryant unveiled bright (gaudy) new shoes to go along with the one color jerseys for fans to purchase by the truck full.

My two cents: I don’t like the look of most of the jerseys (the Lakers-Knicks game was impossible to watch, but not entirely for that reason). Nevertheless, I love the commercial and generally love Christmas basketball, so it’s overall a win. I certainly spent most of my holiday sitting on my couch watching the games (if only we could get some college basketball on Christmas…)

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