TNT Leverages Sponsorship Pact For New Series

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TNT has signed DirecTV, Hewlett-Packard and Hyundai to season-long sponsorship packages for its upcoming series Leverage.

Debuting Dec. 7 at 10 p.m. (ET/PT), the series, starring Academy Award-winner Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People), Gina Bellman (Coupling), Christian Kane (TNT’s Into the West), Beth Riesgraf (Alvin and the Chipmunks) and Aldis Hodge (Friday Night Lights) as a team of thieves, hackers and grifters who join forces to take revenge against those who use power and wealth to victimize others. Leverage will then move into regular Tuesday 10 p.m. time slot on Dec. 9.

The Hyundai Genesis will serve as the exclusive commercial-free premiere sponsor. In addition to significant on-air tune-ins driving awareness for the new series, the car model is also featured in print ads running in People, Entertainment Weekly and TV Guide touting the premiere. 

Moreover, TNT and Hyundai are inviting consumers to “Get Ready to Get Even,” an interactive consumer experience featured at www.LeverageHQ.com. Visitors will be asked to join the Leverage squad to help determine who double crossed the team in a heist gone wrong. At the conclusion of the 11 weeks, consumers will put all of their clues together, and Nate Ford, Hutton’s character, will make good on his promise to reward one consumer with $100,000.

TNT on-air will drive viewers online to participate in the promotion, along with significant digital media across several Turner online properties as well as top online destinations.  TNT will also feature additional marketing placement in Entertainment Weekly, driving readers to go online and participate. The ad will feature significant imagery of the Hyundai Genesis.

The experience will extend to the set of the NBA on TNT. Analyst Charles Barkley will be challenged to see if he has what it takes to be part of the Leverage team when host Ernie Johnson asks him to figure out which of the three Hyundai Genesis cars on set has $10,000 stashed in the trunk. If he chooses correctly, the money will go to one of Charles’ charities. If he chooses wrongly, Ernie’s charity will receive the money. The special episode will feature marketing support for the new series and online game.

DirecTV and Hewlett-Packard will begin season-long sponsorship with the show’s second installment. DirecTV integrations will spotlight their sports packages in HD, while Hewlett-Packard integrations will include the character Alec Hardison (played by  Hodge) using a Hewlett-Packard laptop. Hyundai Genesis integrations spotlight high-tech features such as the GPS navigation system and use of the auxiliary port for mp3 player use, as well as interior and exterior images of the automobile.  

Enhancing that presence, TNT will feature each sponsor’s brand within weekly series tune-ins and on-air billboard messaging entering commercial breaks. Hewlett-Packard and Hyundai will both be part of lower-third messaging within each episode. TNT will build on Hewlett-Packard brand awareness through custom Leverage tagged on-air spots driving viewers to TNT.tv to see behind-the-scenes content from the series.

“We have the unique ability to leverage our strong Turner assets, develop a clever consumer experience, incorporate effective storyline integrations and extend brand awareness to several custom marketing channels, allowing fans of the series to engage with all three brands all season-long,” said Katherine Johnson, senior vice president, Turner Entertainment promotions and marketing, in a statement. “Our partners will play a role in a monster marketing campaign promoting the series premiering on a powerful night of TNT programming.”

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