In Depth

Infiniti Signs on as Exclusive Sponsor of Big Ten, SEC Basketball

Automaker Infiniti has become the exclusive sponsor of college basketball in the Big Ten and SEC conferences. It also has signed new multimedia ad deals with ESPN and CBS.

ESPN will air an “Infiniti Pre-Game Showcase” before key games, and Infiniti ads will get prominent placement on ESPN.com on Saturdays. The only like advertising includes a pre-game and post-game video feature called Infiniti’s Defining Moments.

Infiniti and ESPN also are running an online sweepstakes offering a VIP trip to the network’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn., as the top prize.

The automaker also will be advertising on CBS’ coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament. Infiniti’s ads will run in Infiniti’s top 15 markets as well as Indianapolis, where the Big Ten Tournament is located.

CBS announcer Verne Lundquist will host a series of vignettes for Infiniti called “My Defining Moments,” which will feature former star players talking about their college experience and professional careers.

Infiniti will sponsor CBS’ March Madness on Demand online video presentation of the NCAA tournament as well.

“We are excited about our presence in college basketball,” said Ben Poore, VP of the Infiniti Business Unit. “College basketball fans are passionate about their teams, just like our Infiniti owners are about their vehicles. It’s a great fit and really allows us to reach out and speak directly to our target demographic consisting of passionate, well-educated and affluent consumers.”

“We have worked very closely with Infiniti to come up with the ideal mix of media,” said Ed Erhardt, president of ESPN Customer Marketing and Sales. “Their sponsorship of Big Ten and SEC college basketball melds very well with our schedule and we feel this multiplatform campaign will resonate with fans throughout the season.”