Kumho Tire USA Inc. is adding to its sports sponsorship portfolio with The Basketball Tournament (TBT), a month-long contest that culminates with a $2 million championship game Aug. 2 broadcast on ESPN.
Kumho will receive extensive broadcast exposure and custom MVP Performance features on ESPN, the ability to create dealer programs and creation of the Kumho Tire MVP Tournament Performance Award, awarded at the 2016 TBT Finals in New York. More than 300 teams applied to play in TBT 2016, featuring more than 400 players with professional experience and 63 with NBA experience, including veterans Mike Bibby, Mike James, Cuttino Mobley and Jason Williams.
“We welcome Kumho Tire USA as our newest partner, and look forward to developing new and engaging promotions with them,” says TBT Founder and CEO Jon Mugar. “This year’s event has gotten off to an amazing start, and with the media and fan focus already surpassing the first two years, they are joining our team at a great time.”
“We are always looking for unique partnerships and activation platforms that amplify our brand engagement with sports enthusiasts, and we think that TBT really delivers the demo as a natural extension to our basketball strategy throughout the summertime,” says Brian Gallagher of Kumho Tire USA. “Their partnership with ESPN, their significant growth since the initial launch and the ability to creatively craft other exposure points made this an easy choice for us. We are looking forward to growing together with them.”
The Kumho Tire USA partnership was developed and secured by Equity Sports Partners, TBT’s exclusive sponsorship sales agency based in New York City.
The partnership will give Kumho Tire USA category exclusivity and will feature the Kumho Tire Tournament MVP Performance Award to be voted upon by fans. Additionally, the top fan of each team in the championship game will be eligible to win the Kumho Tire “Fan Payoff,” with the fan of the winning team receiving a free set of Kumho Tires. Starting with the semifinal games, Kumho Tire USA also will launch a tire dealer program in which two VIP Kumho dealer guests will receive a pre-game meet and greet with teams, the opportunity to walk out of the tunnel with the team, courtside seats, merchandise, and other perks.
Opening rounds of TBT began July 9-10 in Charlotte and Los Angeles and July 16-17 in Chicago and Philadelphia. The Super 16 was held from July 21 through July 23 in Philadelphia, and the July 30 semifinals and Aug. 2 championship game are set in New York City. ESPN is featuring live coverage of TBT matchups from the Super 16 onward across their various channels.
Each team in the 64-team field consists of a general manager, at least seven players, a booster, and 200+ fan votes. All players must be 18 or older and all games are played under college rules with two 18-minute halves. Eleven teams in each region were automatically selected based on how many votes their team received on www.TheTournament.com. Three others were selected “at-large,” and the final slot in each region went to the team that raised the most money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
TBT’s 2015 field included hundreds of players who have competed at the highest levels all over the world. Overseas Elite, a team of veteran international professional players, won last year’s $1 million winner-take-all title at Rose Hill Gymnasium. Fans who voted for Overseas Elite shared in the winnings, taking home a combined $50,000 of the grand prize. The Notre Dame Fighting Alumni, a squad made up of some of the best players in University of Notre Dame history, won the inaugural title and $500,000 in 2014.
For more information on Kumho Tire USA Inc., visit www.KumhoTireUSA.com.