Amazon over the weekend launched a new corporate partnership with the NCAA with a pair of 30-second spots during the NCAA Tournament. One featured Turner sideline reporter Craig Sager, while the other paired Turner studio analysts Steve Smith and Grant Hill. Both ads focused on Amazon's Kindle Fire and the new "Mayday" button. No announcement has been made and Amazon is not yet listed as an official partner on the NCAA's website, but the ad with Smith and Hill closed with a tagline saying that Amazon is an official NCAA partner. The Seattle-based online retailer has seldom stepped into the sports sponsorship space. In '12, it struck a deal with pro skateboarder Andy Macdonald as Amazon launched a new section of action sports merchandise. The NCAA sponsorship apparently came together very late in relation to the tournament. An industry sources said as of two weeks ago, a deal was close but had not yet been signed. Just as the tournament was beginning with the First Four last Tuesday, Amazon shot its spot with Smith and Hill on the set of Turner's studio show based in Atlanta (Michael Smith, Staff Writer).
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