NBA Makes Fast Break for Playoffs

May 2, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Now that the playoffs are under way, the National Basketball Association plans to launch an aggressive slate of advertisements with several new high-profile advertisers in its video-on-demand product.

The league is increasing the number of ads and advertisers incorporated into its on-demand offering at the optimum time of year for basketball viewing-the two-plus months of playoffs. Participating advertisers include Toyota, 20th Century Fox and Sprite, said Steven Justman, VP of global media at NBA TV.

20th Century Fox will be the exclusive film sponsor of on-demand content related to the finals, which begin June 9, to promote its upcoming film “Fantastic Four.” Paramount is expected to advertise its movies “The Longest Yard” and “War of the Worlds” prior to and after the Finals, Mr. Justman said.

NBA TV on-demand launched in November and introduced ads earlier this year with trailers for the Warner Bros. movie “Constantine.”

“VOD is really just another extension of how the NBA is embracing new technology to create new touch points for our fans,” Mr. Justman said. “It’s part of our ability to embrace technology, whether it be wireless, VOD, interactive [or] the Internet.”

NBA TV hasn’t finalized the look and feel of Toyota’s VOD presence, but Mr. Justman said he expects to create branded content for the automaker and to also offer a Toyota-sponsored 30-minute show that’s in development for NBA TV on an on-demand basis. Mr. Justman added that he’s talking to other NBA marketing partners such as sneaker makers to create customized branded content for the on-demand platform.

The NBA on-demand service includes 30 hours per week of content, including game highlights, plays of the day, specialty plays, playoff retrospectives, interviews and greatest moments. For now it’s available to Comcast customers who subscribe to NBA TV, which is part of Comcast’s digital sports package, or with a subscription to NBA League Pass.

The on-demand service delivered 1 million views in its first month, NBA TV said.