TEST:NIT Promo Expands

DETROIT–Owens Corning is expanding its involvement with college basketball’s National Invitation Tournament, and is backing the sponsorship with a campaign that includes a new tagline.

The company’s relationship with the postseason NIT began last March with an interactive game, a print campaign and a re-edited television spot. It now extends to the Preseason NIT, scheduled for Nov. 27-29 in New York.

The new effort, created by Doner in Southfield, Mich., features the company’s Pink Panther mascot and includes a reworked version of previous TV and radio, more extensive print, another interactive game and a presence at Madison Square Garden during the tournament’s semifinals and finals.

The new tagline, “Innovations for living,” replaces “Owens Corning. We know homes.”

The new tag reflects the expanding range of the company’s products, said Michael Baskin, Doner evp and account management director.

The old tag “was a statement about how we can improve your life in your home,” Baskin said. “This is just a bigger statement of that.”

Print ads put the Pink Panther on the bench at a basketball game. Copy reads, “College basketball is back. Don’t miss the Owens Corning Preseason NIT.”

Spending on the campaign was not disclosed. The Toledo, Ohio-based company spent an estimated $10 million on advertising in 2001 and about $6 million through the first seven months of 2002, according to CMR.