Marriott International is continuing its relationship with the National Basketball Association by serving as the official sponsor of several marquee events, including the NBA China Games 2017, the NBA Mexico City Games 2017, the NBA London Game 2018 and the NBA All-Star Game 2018 in Los Angeles.
More than 100 million members of Marriott’s loyalty programs – Marriott Rewards, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest – will gain new benefits through the partnership. Rewards members will be able to redeem points for everything from basketball-themed experiences with current and former players to access to NBA games and events. These experiences will be available to members on the Marriott Rewards Moments and SPG Moments platforms. In addition, select Elite members will enjoy VIP access and experiences at marquee NBA games and events.
“The global popularity of basketball makes the NBA an ideal partner to provide members of our loyalty programs once-in-a-lifetime experiences,” Karin Timpone, global marketing officer at Marriott International, said in a statement. “We know that consumers – more so than ever before – travel for experiences and this one unlocks truly memorable moments for our guests around the world.”
In October, the Minnesota Timberwolves will take on the Golden State Warriors in two pre-season games in China. The first game will take place in Shenzhen on Oct. 5, with a rematch scheduled for Oct. 8 in Shanghai. The Brooklyn Nets will face the Oklahoma City Thunder on Dec. 7 and the Miami Heat on Dec. 9 in this year's NBA Mexico City Games. On Jan. 11, the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will play during a regular season game at the O2 Arena in London. The partnership will culminate with the NBA All-Star 2018 game in Los Angeles, where Marriott will activate during Friday night’s Rising Stars Challenge, NBA All-Star Saturday night presented by State Farm and the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday.
The partnership extension follows a sponsorship of the NBA Africa Game 2017, which took place at the Ticketpro Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa, where Team World played Team Africa to benefit several charitable organizations in Africa, such as UNICEF, Nelson Mandela Foundation and SOS Children’s Villages South Africa. Members across Marriott Rewards and SPG in Johannesburg were hosted at the game and received a private meet-and-greet with NBA players Andre Drummond and Kemba Walker. In addition, one loyalty member and her guest won an all-expenses-paid trip from her hometown of Vancouver to South Africa. This VIP experience during the game included a photo on the court with star center Joel Embiid. Her trip also included a four-night stay at the Protea Hotel Kruger Gate and two-day African safari in Kruger Gate National Park.
The activation was inspired by Marriott’s integrated You Are Here advertising campaign, which was developed by Grey Worldwide and chronicles the stories of actual loyalty members.
Marriott’s global partnership with the NBA began in 2015. To date, thousands of loyalty members have been hosted at NBA events across the globe, including USA Basketball events in Los Angeles and Chicago, as well as NBA House in Rio de Janeiro last summer.