FRANKLIN, Tenn.– Infiniti is proud to announce its corporate partnership with the NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner Sports. Infiniti will run a multi-media campaign during regular-season men’s basketball games and the newly expanded, 68-team 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, including the introduction of the First Four and the always electrifying Men’s Final Four.
The action continues throughout the NCAA March Madness coverage on TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. Custom “Inspired Performance” co-branded features will be shown during the coverage on CBS Sports and the three Turner Broadcasting networks, with Infiniti also serving as the presenting sponsor of Turner’s pre-game shows throughout the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. In addition, Infiniti will present in-game “coaches spotlights” during the tournament.
“Some of the biggest moments in sports come during NCAA Basketball each year,” said Ben Poore, vice president, Infiniti Business Unit. “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.”
“Infiniti has a fervent enthusiasm for intercollegiate athletics so we welcome them into our corporate partner family,” said Greg Shaheen, NCAA interim executive vice president for championships and alliances. “Infiniti has a strong industry brand. We’re pleased that they have chosen to support the academic and athletic mission of the NCAA, exemplified by our coaches and student-athletes.”
“Together with CBS, we have the ability to activate Infiniti across all 89 NCAA Championships,” said 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.”
“As an Official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, Infiniti will continue to tell the amazing stories of America’s most successful College Basketball Coaches,” said Chris Simko, senior vice president, CBS Sports Sales and Marketing & Director, CBS Sports Properties Group. “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.”
In April 2010, the NCAA announced a new 14-year television, Internet and wireless rights agreement with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., and CBS Broadcasting Inc., to present the Division I Men’s Basketball Championship beginning in 2011 through 2024 for more than $10.8 billion. As part of the agreement, all games will be shown live across four national networks beginning in 2011 – a first for the 73-year old championship. Additionally, CBS and Turner Broadcasting have been licensed and will collaborate on the NCAA’s corporate marketing program.
Beginning with the 2011 championship, first-, second- and third-round games will be shown nationally on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. CBS and Turner will split coverage of the regional semifinal games. CBS will provide coverage of the regional finals, as well as the Final Four semifinal games and the National Championship game, through 2015. Beginning in 2016, coverage of the regional finals will be split by CBS and Turner with the Final Four semifinal games and the National Championship game alternating every year between the CBS Television Network and Turner’s TBS.
“Like many of the teams heading toward the championship tournament, Infiniti is on a winning streak – closing 2010 with sales up 27.5 percent over the previous year,” Poore said. “The strong momentum is continuing into 2011, led by sales of the new Infiniti M sedan, Infiniti QX56 luxury SUV and the Infiniti G Sedan line, which includes the new G25 sports sedan.”