By Barry Janoff
June 27, 2013: Tonight in Brooklyn, dozens of players who hope to become NBA stars will hear their names called during the NBA Draft presented by State Farm.
Also tonight, nearly a dozen NBA marketing and media partners will see their brands become part of the NBA Draft, which will be televised nationally by ESPN from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY.
In addition to State Farm, official NBA partners that will have a presence at this year’s event include adidas, American Express, Cisco, Gatorade, SAP, Sears, Sprint, and Taco Bell.
"NBA partners continue to see the Draft as a premier event on the NBA calendar and a great way to engage our fans," according to the NBA marketing department. "This year we have nine partners supporting the Draft, and State Farm will return [for the second year] as the presenting partner of the Draft."
League marketing partners will activate via a variety of options, including in-arena, Web, digital and social media, branding, exclusive access and broadcast. In the latter, brands that are confirmed to run ads during the ESPN telecast include State Farm, Gatorade, Sprint, Taco Bell, Kia, Nike, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures and Disney.
ESPN will air spots for its programming. The NBA also will run commercials under its BIG umbrella campaign and for NBA Cares.
State Farm, which ran four 30-second spots during the 2012 NBA Draft, hinted that new creative would be coming. The 2013 NBA Draft would be the ideal venue for State Farm to break a spot featuring Chris Paul, All-Star guard with the Los Angeles Clippers, and his factitious brother, Cliff, both of whom have been the focus of State Farm NBA marketing since December.
During the NBA Dratt, fans in Barclays Center will be able to take a photo with Chris and Cliff Paul cutouts, and 2,000 Cliff Paul disguise kits (glasses and a mustache) will be handed out.
Adidas will arguably have the second greatest exposure among brands. Adidas will have co-branded NBA draft hats, which will be worn by the top picks when they are greeted by NBA commissioner David Stern, who will be overseeing his last Draft before retiring this February. Players will then wear their hats (with their respective new team logo) during an interview that immediately follows on ESPN.
The 2012 NBA Draft presented by State Farm attracted nearly three million viewers, the second-most since ESPN began to cover the event live in 2003 (behind the 3.2 million viewers in 2011, according to ESPN). The 2013 NBA Draft will also be televised in a record 205 countries and territories in 12 languages.
In comparison, the 2013 NFL Draft in April drew 7.7 million viewers during the first round, which was telecast on both ESPN and NFL Network.
The 2013 NBA Draft marks the third time in 11 years that the Cleveland Cavaliers will pick first overall (LeBron James in 2003 and Kyrie Irving in 2011). The top five selections also include (in order) Orlando Magic, Washington Wizards, Charlotte Bobcats and Phoenix Suns. Among the players expected to go in the first round are Nerlens Noel, Otto Porter, Victor Oladipo, Trey Burke, Cody Zeller, Ben McLemore and Michael Carter Williams.