Bell Canada teams up with the NBA
October 10, 2013 | Vanessa Milne | Comments
Bell Canada is hoping to score with a new multi-year partnership with the NBA.
Bell will be the National Basketball Association’s official mobile service provider until the end of the 2015-16 season. Bell Mobile TV will show nightly NBA highlights from the regular season and the finals, and customers will be able to watch player profiles and special courtside content on their smartphones and tablets, in English and French.
The arrangement also makes Bell the presenting sponsor of the NBA Canada Series pre-season games, which begin Oct. 20. It will also be the presenting sponsor of Canada’s NBA All-Star Balloting platform, which lets fans vote on who should start in the NBA All-Star Game.
It’s one way Bell is positioning itself as the communications team for Canadian basketball.
“Bell is excited to partner with the National Basketball Association as part of our broad commitment to basketball in Canada,” said Wade Oosterman, president of Bell Mobility and Residential Services, and chief brand officer at Bell, in a release. “Bell is taking the lead in driving the growth of one of the most popular and fastest-growing youth participation team sports in Canada.”
Bell’s also focused on basketball as a platinum sponsor of the Toronto Raptors (which is partly owned by Bell’s parent company BCE Inc.), and premier sponsor of Canada Basketball, supporting men’s and women’s amateur basketball across the country, including the Olympic teams.
“[The NBA's] core strength in terms of the fans is that we reach young Canadians, urban Canadians and newcomers to Canada, and those are markets that are very important to Bell. So from a target fit, it makes a lot of sense,” said Dan Mackenzie, vice-president and general manager of NBA Canada, adding that sports is an area media companies are looking at.
“In a world of very fragmented entertainment, sports is one thing that really unifies people, and it’s very PVR-proof, so that’s one of the reasons why these big media companies are so adamant about having the right kind of sports relationship.”