By Barry Janoff
July 19, 2016: The USA Basketball Men's and Women's teams will head to Rio in less than three weeks with the intent to bring home gold medals, led by the likes of Kyrie Irving, Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Durant, Paul George and Jimmy Butler for the men; and Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi on the women's team.
They also will be backed by a roster of partners planning multi-level activation leading to and then during the Summer Olympics.
Among USA Basketball's partners taking center marketing court are Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser), Aquafina, Cisco, FedEx, Gatorade, Harman, Jeep, Marriott, Nike, Samsung, State Farm and Verizon.
Partners will activate throughout USA Basketball’s training sessions and scheduled nine exhibition games in eight markets.
According to Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman and men’s national team managing director, “This is sure to be an exciting and historical summer,. We’re eager to share this excitement with our partners, who continue to help us bring fans closer to USA Basketball through a variety of live events and programming, celebrating our teams and players.”
The USA Men's National Team will train July 18-21 in Las Vegas, followed on July 22 by the USA Basketball Showcase presented By Verizon, which features the U.S. playing Argentina in the T-Mobile Arena.
The schedule also includes two exhibition games against China (July 24, Staples Center, Los Angeles; July 26, Oracle Arena, Oakland), a game in Chicago against Venezuela (July 29, United Center) and the USA Basketball Showcase in Houston against Nigeria (Aug. 1, Toyota Center).
The USA Basketball Women's Team exhibition schedule includes USA Women’s National Team vs. USA Basketball Select Team (July 25, Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, CT), a game vs. France (July 27, University of Delaware Bob Carpenter Center, Newark Del.), a game vs. Canada (July 29, Webster Bank Arena, Bridgeport, CT) and a game vs. Australia (July 31, Madison Square Garden, New York).
Men’s basketball preliminary play at the ’16 Olympics will be held Aug. 6-15, with the quarterfinals scheduled for Aug. 17, semifinals on Aug. 19 and the gold and bronze medal games on Aug. 21.
Women's basketball begins Aug. 6, with the quarterfinals scheduled for Aug. 16, semifinals on Aug. 18 and the gold and bronze medal games on Aug. 20.
The USA Women's Team is seeking a record sixth-straight Olympic gold medal.
The USA Men's Team has won two consecutive gold medals and five of the last six (Argentina won gold in 2004) dating back to the Dream Team win in Barcelona in 1992.
USA Basketball said that a "major emphasis this summer, partners will help host USA Basketball Youth Development Clinics and Coach Academies." The clinics are intended introduce children ages 6-14 to the game of basketball in a "fun and structured learning environment."
Concurrently each USA Basketball Youth Coach Academy presented by Nike will "provide coaches valuable insight and education for teaching the game to rising players."
Among the activations:
Budweiser will host mobile Build-A-Bar setups near or around the arena in multiple markets of the 2016 USA Basketball Showcase.
Aquafina will have brand presence in-arena through courtside signage and in-game promotions as well as exit sampling of Aquafina Sparkling at select Showcase venues.
Baron, the official championship ring provider for USA Basketball, will introduce a co-branded digital vignette highlighting the legacy of USA Basketball, ask fans to share their favorite USA Basketball memories via Twitter for the chance to win USA Basketball-themed prizes and unveil a line of USA Basketball-branded accessories.
Cisco and USA Basketball will produce original content, focusing on the team “Getting Ready for Rio.”
Cîroc will host VIPs at the USA Basketball Welcome Reception presented by Cîroc, featuring meet-and-greets with men’s team members and coaches; and will host sendoff parties for both the men’s and women’s teams in Houston and New York City, respectively.
FedEx will host VIP dinners, including USA Basketball legend appearances Los Angeles and Chicago.
Gatorade will provide product, including coolers, towels, cups, and carts, for every Showcase game and practice throughout the summer; and will provide product for USA Basketball Youth Development
Players at training camp will eceive Harman gift bags featuring assorted JBL products, including a custom set of USA Basketball-themed headphones with red, white, blue, and gold print.
Hospital for Special Surgery will serve as the official team doctor and provide medical care for all USA Basketball events throughout the summer.
Jeep, the exclusive automotive partner of USA Basketball, will be presenting partner of "Real Training Camp." which will celebrate its shared 75th Anniversary with the USO, a nonprofit which supports the men and women in uniform and the USO of our nation's military.
Two Jeep spots featuring Paul George will continue to run through the Olympics. (Paul George is also featured on the cover of NBA 2K17 and supporting marketing). In addition, Jeep will sponsor a tech talk with USA Basketball legends and scholars from the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit.
Kaiser Permanente and USA Basketball Youth Development will host youth fitness clinics at local community centers in each Showcase market.
Marriott will host USA Basketball hospitality experiences in each market, including meet-and-greets and tickets to each Showcase game, available to Marriott Rewards members as part of its new Experiences Marketplace.
Nike, the official apparel provider for the USA Basketball Men’s and Women’s National Teams, will produce a USA Basketball-themed spot uniting members of the men’s and women’s teams. Nike will also produce a vignette series highlighting the legacy of the 1996 USA Basketball Women’s National Team and its influence on the 2016 squad (to run on Nike and USA Basketball’s digital and social channels).
"We’re eager to share this excitement with our partners, who continue to help us bring fans closer to USA Basketball through live events and programming."
In addition, Nike will serve as a presenting partner for the USA Basketball Youth Development events (Youth Clinics, Open Courts, Coach Academies), including:
Samsung will equip the men’s and women’s teams and coaching staffs with new tablets and other devices; and also produce a new Samsung 360 content series featuring behind-the-scenes access to the USA Basketball training camp and Showcase tour.
Shock Doctor, the official mouthguard of USA Basketball, will offer product sampling at USA Basketball Youth Clinics in each city to provide young players information about mouth safety and mouthguards.
As presenting partner of the USA Basketball Showcase, Verizon will receive premium branding throughout the tour, including in-arena signage and a special VIP hospitality program. Verizon will host VIPs at two hospitality events, featuring USA Basketball legend meet-and-greets and autograph sessions, and giveaways in Chicago and Houston.
USA Basketball also has a partnership with the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors and will host more than 350 TAPS youth participants and their families at events during the 2016 USA Basketball Showcase presented by Verizon. The partnership with TAPS builds on USA Basketball and the NBA’s long-term commitment to honor and support our nation’s military and families through the Hoops for Troops program.
USA men's head coach is Duke head basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski.
University of Connecticut head coach Geno Auriemma is head coach for the USA women's team.
Team rosters (as of July 20):
USA Basketball Men's Team
Carmelo Anthony (New York Knicks); Harrison Barnes (Dallas Mavericks); Jimmy Butler (Chicago Bulls); DeMarcus Cousins (Sacramento Kings); DeMar DeRozan (Toronto Raptors); Kevin Durant (Golden State Warriors); Paul George (Indiana Pacers); Draymond Green (Golden State Warriors); Kyrie Irving (Cleveland Cavaliers); DeAndre Jordan (Los Angeles Clippers); Kyle Lowry (Toronto Raptors); and Klay Thompson (Golden State Warriors).
USA Basketball Women's Team
Three-time gold medalists and tri-captains Sue Bird (Seattle Storm), Tamika Catchings (Indiana Fever) and Diana Taurasi (Phoenix Mercury). The team also includes two-time Olympic gold medalists Seimone Augustus (Minnesota Lynx) and Sylvia Fowles (Minnesota Lynx); and 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tina Charles (New York Liberty), Angel McCoughtry (Atlanta Dream), Maya Moore (Minnesota Lynx) and Lindsay Whalen (Minnesota Lynx). Competing in their first Olympic Games are Elena Delle Donne (Chicago Sky), Brittney Griner (Phoenix Mercury) and Breanna Stewart (Seattle Storm).
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