Last October, Infiniti announced its official sponsorship of Big Ten and SEC college basketball for the 2008-09 season. For the first time, the luxury automaker will be the exclusive automotive sponsor of both conferences.
In addition to the conference sponsorships, Infiniti is working with ESPN and CBS to further enhance and reinforce its support of college basketball. The customized, multimedia campaign includes telecast, digital, event and sweepstakes components. Benefits also include promotional and online opportunities, special event and on-site marketing, tickets and hospitality and use of SEC and Big Ten marks and logos.
ESPN airs hundreds of college basketball games throughout the season. The alignment with the network acts as a platform to increase Infiniti perception and awareness. Through March 7, Infiniti’s Pre-Game Showcase on ESPN, a custom video preview of that evening’s marquee match up, will tip off the weekly primetime game to build excitement immediately before game time.
Infiniti advertising will also have prominent placement on ESPN.com on Saturdays, which will include Infiniti’s Defining Moment pre-game and post- game videos. Additionally, ESPN and Infiniti created a unique online sweepstakes in which multiple fans can win a VIP trip to Bristol, Conn., for the ultimate behind-the-scenes ESPN College Basketball experience.
Infiniti’s extension into the NCAA tournament is tied together through the partnership with CBS. CBS broadcasts exclusive coverage of the NCAA tournament, when viewership is at its highest. CBS will allow Infiniti to efficiently run ads in the NCAA Tournament in Infiniti’s Top 15 markets and in Indianapolis, the Big Ten Tournament location.
Infiniti will also air its NCAA Vignette Series, "My Defining Moments," hosted by Verne Lundquist, which will showcase former college basketball players offering a first-person narrative of their college athletic experiences and how that has translated into success in their professional careers. The vignettes will feature former SEC players, Coolidge Ball of Ole Miss and Scotty Thurman of the University of Arkansas and former Big Ten players, Kendall Gill of Illinois and Nick Anderson of Illinois. Infiniti will also sponsor CBS’ March Madness on Demand Streaming video online throughout the NCAA Tournament.