NBA, Haier Partner to Grow Brands Globally

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and Haier, one of China’s largest appliance manufacturers, inked a multi-year partnership yesterday to help Haier build brand awareness globally while extending the association’s presence in China.

Later this year, the two organizations will reinforce their brands in China through a co-branded advertising campaign that will run throughout the NBA’s television broadcasts on 24 TV networks across the mainland. Haier, which sells household appliances, including refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines, will also conduct interactive promotions on NBA.com/China and at NBA events and tours across China.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“This is very significant because we’ve had many global marketing partnerships, but here we have the No. 1 brand in China entering a global partnership with us,” said NBA Commissioner David Stern in a conference call yesterday.

The Chinese market for the NBA is second behind the U.S., Stern said. The NBA, which has three offices in the country, is continually expanding, Stern added.

In the U.S., Camden, SC-based Haier America will launch a new line of HD TVs in the summer. As the Official Partner of High Definition Televisions for the NBA, Haier will activate the partnership in NBA high-definition programming, at NBA events and in NBA-themed retail promotions beginning in the fall.

“This…signifies our commitment to the American consumer, which will ultimately make the Haier brand a household name in the U.S. as it is in China,” Haier President Michael Jemal said.

Haier selected the NBA because “historically it’s been the premiere sport which has the longest running season,” Jemal said. “We feel that the NBA brand in the U.S. reaches the target audience we’re trying to reach.”

Stern, who described the partnership as “utterly tantalizing,” said placing the NBA’s brand name on appliances in co-branding efforts isn’t far fetched.

“We’re open to collaboration on branding if there’s a match between the product and our audience,” Stern said.

Haier has 240 subsidiary companies worldwide. The company’s 2005 global revenue was $12.8 billion.

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