TNT Tips Off Full-Court Ad Press

ATLANTA TNT launched an advertising blitz this week to promote its Feb. 19 broadcast of the National Basketball Association All-Star Game, the cable network said.

The campaign includes ads on the hubcaps of taxis in the Houston area, where the game will be played, print in national publications, radio spots in selected markets, outdoor and cable television, a movie trailer and wraps on delivery vans.

Hubcap ads have been placed on 75 taxis in Houston. Each ad contains an image of a basketball with the TNT logo and the date of the game. TNT created the work in-house, and AdFleet Advertising of Vancouver produced it. AdFleet introduced hubcap advertising in 2004 via a technology that keeps the hubcap still while the wheel turns.

Print ads begin next month in USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Dime, Hoop, Playboy, Stuff, Rolling Out and Slam.

Radio spots begin airing Feb. 16 during the morning and afternoon drive times in 15 markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Antonio and Houston. A contest on the Doug Banks Morning Show, a nationally syndicated radio program, will give away tickets to the game.

Outdoor messages begin appearing on billboards Jan. 30. The boards on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles and Grand Central Station in New York will feature Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and Cleveland Cavalier LeBron James. Signage in Times Square will feature Houston Rocket Yao Ming and Miami Heat star Shaquille O’Neal. Other billboards will be placed in Atlanta and Houston.

TNT also is wrapping 21 delivery vans in the Houston with ads for the game.

“Our goal for promoting our 2006 NBA All-Star coverage was to capture the broadest attention among every possible fan interest, be it sports or entertainment, with new and unique promotional partnerships,” said Jeff Gregor, senior vice president of sports marketing and programming for TNT and TBS, both based in Atlanta.