USA Basketball and Tiffany & Co. have agreed to a new multiyear global marketing partnership designating Tiffany as the official timekeeper of the organization. The deal involves the U.S. men’s and women’s senior teams and runs through the ’12 London Games, at which both teams will defend the Gold Medal. “When the opportunity with USA Basketball came about, it’s really something that’s unique and different for us,” said Tiffany VP/Business Sales Tom O’Rourke. “Being an American company and having the opportunity to partner with the U.S. national teams really was something that struck to the core of the company.” Highlighting the new pact, which includes courtside signage and in-game commercial spots during USA Basketball games, is the creation of the Global Community Cup trophy, to be awarded after each exhibition game that the U.S. teams play. The Cup, designed and created by Tiffany, will feature engravings honoring the U.S. teams and their opponents in all USA Basketball games played outside internationally sanctioned competition, as well as the standout player of the game and a charity supported by USA Basketball. The two parties also will produce vignettes documenting the creation of the award and post them on Tiffany.com, USABasketball.com and various social media outlets. The partnership formally tips off tonight in Manhattan with a private ceremony to honor the U.S. men’s team headed to compete in the upcoming FIBA World Championship in Turkey. At the ceremony, held at Tiffany’s flagship store, the jeweler will present each player and coach of the U.S. team with a new Tiffany Atlas watch. O'Rourke said a key element of the deal for Tiffany is the avenue to promote new timepieces.IT DOES A GOVERNING BODY GOOD: USA Basketball earlier today also formally announced a new multiyear partnership with the Milk Processor Education Program, better known for its national “got milk?” campaign. Heat and U.S. basketball F Chris Bosh was on hand in N.Y. this morning to launch the partnership and a new program, “Refuel America,” aimed at educating Americans about the benefits of drinking lowfat chocolate milk after a workout. The USA Basketball-MilkPEP pact also runs through the London Olympics. “There’s a unique alignment that ties in with the Refuel America campaign,” said NBA Senior VP/Marketing Partnerships Chris Heck, who manages the business for USA Basketball. “It’s a partnership that’s highlighting some of America’s best athletes and teams, and we will be promoting that not only this year, but each year building up to the Olympics.” To coincide with the new program, Bosh unveiled his new “got milk?” ad, in which he wears his Team USA jersey, at this morning’s announcement. U.S. speedskater Apolo Anton Ohno also was on hand with a new milk moustache ad. They were joined in Manhattan by U.S. gymnast Shawn Johnson and WNBA Washington Mystics F Crystal Langhorne. USA Basketball and MilkPEP are in discussions about integrating other players in “got milk?” ads, especially someone from the U.S. women’s team, Heck said. Those decisions will be made closer to the ’12 Games. The Refuel America campaign will include print activation, TV ads featuring athletes like Bosh and Johnson, a virtual training program for teens and grants to schools across the U.S.
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