Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

NBA, Partners Put All-Star Game Marketing In Play


As the NBA prepares to hold its reconfigured All-Star Game and events all on March 7 in Atlanta’s State Farm Arena, league marketing partners and other NBA-related alliances are seeking to make the most of a one-day national (TNT) and global audience.

Among the brands that have signed deals and/or activated in time for the game are Hennessy, PepsiCo, Bally’s, Michelob Ultra, State Farm, CarMax, Beats and Clorox; as well as All-Star Game event sponsors including AT&T (Slam Dunk), Taco Bell (Skills Challenge) and Mtn. Dew (3-Point Contest).

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is sponsorship?
  2. Why do brands sponsor sports teams, leagues, events and athletes?
  3. Why would a brand want to sponsor the NBA?
  4. Why do you think the NBA typically hosts an “All-Star Weekend” event rather than just one game?
  5. Why do you think the league decided that this year’s All-Star festivities would just be a single-day event?
  6. Several NBA stars, including LeBron James, have been outspoken about not wanting to play the game this year. Why do you think the NBA was so commited to playing the game even if players voiced their opposition?
  7. Why might they want to align the brand with the All-Star Weekend?
  8. Based on information from this story, name three different NBA sponsors.
  9. Who is the sponsor of the Slam Dunk competition? Why do you think the brand might want to be associated with that particular event?
  10. Do you think the value of a sponsorship of this year’s event decreases amid the pandemic? Why or why not?
  11. What is sponsorship activation?
  12. Why is it important for brands to activate sponsorships?
  13. Select one of the sponsors listed in this news story and come up with an activation strategy for the brand around NBA All-Star Weekend. Be prepared to share your ideas in class.
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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