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ESPN, NBA Digital team up for fantasy basketball game

By Official Release
Posted Sep 28 2009 11:53AM

NBA Digital and ESPN announced today a unique multi-year agreement that will make ESPN NBA.com Fantasy Basketball the official commissioner-style fantasy basketball game for both ESPN.com and NBA.com.

The collaboration between NBA Digital and ESPN means that fantasy sports players on two of the leading NBA destinations online will now have a single, integrated game and access to the very best fantasy basketball content online and on mobile devices. The companies will also develop cross-platform promotions through a multitude of ESPN and NBA Digital platforms.

"This collaboration takes NBA Digital's multi-platform philosophy to unprecedented levels," said Bryan Perez, senior vice president and general manager, NBA Digital. "By marrying the TV, internet and wireless assets of ESPN and NBA Digital, fantasy sports fans will be able to engage in the game and related content in more ways than have ever been offered in the fantasy arena."

"Working together with NBA Digital on ESPN NBA.com Fantasy Basketball builds upon the great, multi-faceted relationship we have with the NBA and will provide fans with the very best fantasy basketball game and content available," said John Kosner, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Digital Media. "Fans will benefit this season and in seasons ahead from new innovations and an enhanced interactive experience, while advertisers will get more value than ever before from their connection to a best-of-breed multi-platform game and content experience."

The game is available now on NBA.com and ESPN.com and on ESPN and NBA mobile Web sites. Fans will be able to manage their teams with the latest information on their players, check scores and set their lineups. Following a record-setting season for the free commissioner-style fantasy game on ESPN.com (including nearly 40 times the growth in participation from the previous season) ESPN NBA.com Fantasy Basketball will allow players to create leagues and teams, schedule drafts, conduct mock drafts and more. Other features include:

• Integrated access to all the leading NBA Digital and ESPN Fantasy news, analysis and information including video, podcasts, columns, features and more;

• NBA TV and ESPN studio personalities competing in the game throughout the season;

• Mobile companions allowing team management through the ESPN and NBA mobile Web sites, as well as a downloadable Draft Kit mobile application developed by ESPN;

• A co-branded and cohesive marketing campaign featuring 2008 Olympic Gold Medalists Dwight Howard (Orlando Magic) and Deron Williams (Utah Jazz), three-time NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas (Washington Wizards), and reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls).

As part of the agreement, ESPN and NBA Digital will cross promote the game and the Fantasy Draft Kit across their multiple media platforms. ESPN and NBA Digital will work together to develop new features throughout the 2009-10 NBA regular season (begins Tuesday, October 27) and in seasons ahead, including the integration of video from the NBA Digital and ESPN libraries. In addition, ESPN and NBA Digital will jointly develop sponsorship packages and co-marketing initiatives around ESPN NBA.com Fantasy Basketball.

About ESPN and The NBA
ESPN's comprehensive, multi-year agreement with the NBA includes wide-reaching multi-media coverage and content across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNU, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile, ESPN podcasts and additional media platforms still to be developed. ESPN and ABC combine to televise 90 regular-season games, plus each round of the postseason -- including The Finals exclusively on ABC. ESPN Radio also offers season-long broadcasts including the regular season, postseason (including The Finals) and All-Star events.

About NBA Digital
NBA Digital is a landmark partnership between the NBA and Turner Sports to jointly manage the NBA's digital assets, which include NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA League Pass, NBADLeague.com and WNBA.com.

NBA.com is the official online destination for the National Basketball Association (NBA). Launched in 1995, the site is home to such unique online features as NBA LEAGUE PASS Broadband, a robust library of on-demand video, fantasy games, NBAStore.com and links to the official Web sites of all 30 NBA teams.

Turner Sports, a division of Turner Broadcasting, Inc., presents some of the best and most popular sporting events worldwide and is a leader in televised and online sports programming. With events airing on TBS and TNT, Turner Sports' lineup includes NASCAR and NASCAR.COM, the NBA, Major League Baseball, professional golf, PGATour.com and PGA.com.

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