Infiniti has scored a corporate partnership deal with the NCAA that will steer advertising dollars and marketing elements on Turner and CBS's coverage of March Madness.
Infiniti will run a multi-media campaign during regular-season men's basketball games and the 2011 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship, including the "First Four" as the opening contests that will air on TruTV as part of the newly expanded 68-team tournament.
Infiniti's deal, terms of which were not disclosed, marks the first NCAA corporate partnership pact since Turner and CBS inked a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal for tournament coverage, which will now include for the first time national windows for all games.
Custom "Inspired Performance" co-branded features will be shown during the coverage on CBS, TNT, TBS and TruTV, with Infiniti also serving as the presenting sponsor of Turner's pre-game shows throughout the tourney. In addition, Infiniti will present in-game "coaches spotlights" during the event.
"Some of the biggest moments in sports come during NCAA Basketball each year," said Ben Poore, vice president, Infiniti Business Unit, in a statement. "Together with the NCAA and the CBS Sports-Turner Sports Alliance, we will be there every action packed step of the way, from the opening tip off to the cutting of the nets. It's always an exciting time, and Infiniti is proud to be a part of the inspiration that NCAA basketball delivers."
Turner and CBS negotiate the NCAA's corporate champion and partner deals. That roster comprises AT&T, Coca-Cola and Capital One at the higher level and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, The Hartford, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, LG, Lowe's, Planters, Unilever, UPS and now Infiniti.
"Together with CBS, we have the ability to activate Infiniti across all 89 NCAA Championships," noted Will Funk, senior vice president, NCAA Partnerships and Branded Programming, Turner Sports Ad Sales. "With customized NCAA-Infiniti branded content distributed across out of home, online, mobile and television, including 2011 March Madness coverage on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV, the NCAA corporate marketing program offers the most unique opportunity in the marketplace to reach passionate and engaged consumers."
Added Chris Simko, senior vice president, CBS Sports Sales and Marketing, and director, CBS Sports Properties Group: "As an official corporate partner of the NCAA, Infiniti will continue to tell the amazing stories of America's most successful college basketball coaches. The positive impact that these coaches have on their student-athletes and in their collegiate communities, along with their legacies of hard work, perseverance and determination, has truly made them an inspiration to us all. The CBS-Turner asset mix is uniquely capable of delivering this important message to college basketball fans everywhere."