Southwest in ‘Slam Dunk’ Deal With NBA

DALLAS Southwest Airlines today christened the second 737 jet to carry advertising for a third party, calling it “Slam Dunk One” for the National Basketball Association.

The airline’s first paint scheme for another company, the “Shamu” jet for Seaworld introduced in 1988, is still flying, Southwest said.

The paint scheme on Slam Dunk One designed by Southwest’s ad shop GSD&M shows an NBA basketball going through a hoop on the forward section of the fuselage. The ball is trailed by an orange wave that starts from the back of the plane, making it appear as if it is being shot into the basket. The words “Slam Dunk One” appear on the nose of the plane.

The plane’s interior sports the 30 NBA team logos on the overhead compartments and a custom windscreen featuring a panel commemorating the aircraft’s maiden flight from Dallas to Los Angeles.

The NBA and Southwest Airlines expanded their 17-year marketing partnership in July, and Slam Dunk One is the first product of the broader relationship, the airline said. The multi-year agreement establishes new community outreach efforts and increases Southwest advertising through NBA media to reach the league’s fans.

Southwest Airlines president Colleen Barrett, NBA commissioner David Stern, former NBA players Bill Russell, Dominique Wilkins, Clyde Drexler, Bob Lanier, Bill Walton and George Gervin and Women’s National Basketball Association player Rebecca Lobo announced the expanded relationship between Southwest and the NBA.

Slam Dunk One will go into regular rotation throughout Southwest’s 61-city network. The plane also will be used in ongoing charitable activities and special events conducted by the NBA and Southwest.

“The rare step of creating a specialty airplane with a partner demonstrates our strong commitment to the NBA partnership,” said Barrett.