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Sprint Pregame Concert added to 2012 All-Star lineup

By Official release

Posted Feb 23 2012 8:23AM

NEW YORK/ORLANDO -- The festivities for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 26, will tip off with performances by multiplatinum, alternative hip-hop band, Gym Class Heroes, Grammy®-nominated artist J. Cole, acappella sensation Pentatonix, and emerging star Kayla Brianna at the Sprint Pregame Concert at the Amway Center in Orlando. The 61st NBA All-Star Game will be televised live at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.

Live coverage of the Sprint Pregame Concert will begin airing at 5 p.m. on NBA TV and will lead into TNT's live coverage of the pregame show from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Concert performances will air live on NBA TV until 6 p.m. The TNT pregame show will begin at 6 p.m. and will provide viewers with live look-ins to the action on stage. The concert will end before TNT's All-Star Game coverage begins at 7 p.m.

TNT will broadcast Gym Class Heroes as they perform their new smash single "Get Yourself Back Home" featuring Neon Hitch. NBA TV will feature Grammy®-nominated artist J. Cole performing two songs, "Work Out" and "Can't Get Enough"; Pentatonix performing their mash-up of "Since You've Been Gone" and "Forget You"; and rising star Kayla Brianna performing her debut single "If You Love Me."

"We are extremely excited about the coming NBA All-Star week, our first as the official wireless service partner of the NBA," said Steve Gaffney, vice president-Corporate Marketing, Sprint. "Our presentation of the Sprint Pregame Concert, the Sprint All-Star Celebrity Game, and the introduction in December of our best-in-class Sprint NBA Mobile wireless application -- which is FREE to Sprint customers -- demonstrates our commitment to enhancing the NBA fan's experience."

"The Sprint Pregame Concert will provide our fans and guests with exciting entertainment prior to the 61st NBA All-Star Game in Orlando," said Mark Tatum, NBA Executive Vice President, Global Marketing Partnerships. "As our new wireless service partner, Sprint has been integral to enhancing the interactive experience for our fans and their customers, from developing the Sprint NBA Mobile app to driving NBA All-Star Balloting, and now enhancing our fans' live experience prior at the All-Star Game."

The Sprint Pregame Concert will cap a week of Sprint's All-Star activities in Orlando that begins on Friday, Feb. 17, for an NBA All-Star E-Recycling presented by Sprint event at the Sprint store in the Millenia Mall. Sprint will additionally serve as the title partner of the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, which will be played at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, on Center Court of Jam Session at the Orange County Convention Center. The evening will feature celebrities from film, TV and music, as well as NBA Legends and WNBA players.

Sprint will also be an associate partner of NBA All-Star Jam Session and the presenting partner of NBA All-Star E-Recycling events. Sprint also was the presenting partner of NBA All-Star Balloting, which determined the starters for the 61 st NBA All-Star Game.

The Sprint Pregame Concert will be open to all fans with tickets for the 2012 NBA All-Star Game, for select promotional guests who participate in NBA All-Star E-Recycling presented by Sprint events and Sprint's Jam Session activities, and all members of the media with Game credentials.

Gym Class Heroes (Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen) - Gym Class Heroes catapulted to international stardom in 2007 with their first #1 hit "Cupid's Chokehold/Breakfast In America," which set the record for holding the top spot on the CHR/Top 40 radio chart for the most consecutive weeks by a band and helped earn them the "Best New Artist" award at the MTV Video Awards that same year. Gym Class Heroes frontman Travie McCoy was responsible for one of the biggest songs of 2010 with his smash solo single "Billionaire" (feat. Bruno Mars). Last year, Gym Class Heroes scored their second #1 hit with "Stereo Hearts" (feat. Adam Levine), the lead single from their fourth Decaydance/Fueled By Ramen release, "THE PAPERCUT CHRONICLES II." The song surpassed 3 million in sales and proved one of the biggest hits of 2011, holding the top spot on the CHR/Top 40 chart for 3 weeks, and going top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. "Get Yourself Back Home" (feat. Neon Hitch), the second single from "THE PAPERCUT CHRONICLES II," is quickly shaping up to be another smash, climbing into the top 15 at CHR/Top 40 radio and on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Dynamic live performers with a genre-defying sound, Gym Class Heroes has toured with rapper Lil Wayne and hip-hop/neo-soul band The Roots, and also headlined the Vans Warped Tour as well as cross-country and international tours of their own. Collectively, Travie and Gym Class Heroes have sold over a million albums worldwide and over 10 million digital singles.

Neon Hitch (Warner Bros. Records/WBR) - Neon Hitch is a British singer and songwriter who made plenty of noise in 2011 behind her internet buzz tracks "Bad Dog" and "Poisoned With Love." Neon's first official single, "Love U Betta," is out now and her debut album is due later this year. Neon displays a soulful, jazz-inflected vocal atop an organic backdrop of eclectic pop melodies and hip-hop tinged beats to come up with a sound uniquely her own. Neon is featured on the Gym Class Heroes smash single "Self Back Home," she has opened for rapper 50 Cent and has garnered praise from the New York Post and Spin Magazine. Her debut single "Love U Betta" is out now.

J. Cole (Roc Nation/Columbia) -- The first artist signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation label, Cole made himself notable through a scholarly approach to music -- no small feat considering his Magna Cum Laude distinction upon graduating from St. John's University. J.Cole's debut album Cole World: The Sideline Story is certified Gold and his music has led to successful tours with Rihanna and Drake, an appearance on JAY Z's "A Star Is Born" (Blueprint 3), as well as praise from Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone, and a GRAMMY Nomination for Best New Artist.

Pentatonix (Sony) -- Pentatonix was formed when childhood friends Kirstie Maldonado, Mitch Grassi and Scott Hoying were united with Avi Kaplan and Kevin Olusola to fill out their a cappella quintet and compete in Season 3 of NBC's "The Sing Off." It was then that they paired their now famously intricate 5-part vocal arrangements with reimagined pop songs, inspired by just about every musical genre. Less than 6 months later, the a cappella sensations (and reigning "The Sing Off" champions) are recording their debut album, which will undoubtedly shatter any and every preconception of what a cappella music is and just how big it can be.

Kayla Brianna (Interscope Records) -- Interscope Records' latest signee, Kayla Brianna, an R&B music darling, is the perfect amalgamation of brains, beauty and unparalleled talent. Her sound is a fusion of classic pop, R&B and jazz. Her single, "IF YOU LOVE ME" has her reminiscing on life as a young girl and living an exciting life as the daughter of retired basketball legend Kenny Smith. Biding her time between school and the studio, Kayla would like her music to speak to young girls about growing up, succeeding, experiencing heartbreak and self-identity.

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 55 million customers at the end of 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

About NBA All-Star 2012

NBA All-Star 2012 in Orlando will bring together some of the most talented and passionate players in the league's history for a global celebration of the game. The 61st NBA All-Star Game, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Amway Center, will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages. TNT will televise the All-Star Game for a 10th consecutive year, marking Turner Sports' 27th year of All-Star coverage. NBA All-Star Saturday Night presented by State Farm will feature the Haier Shooting Stars, Taco Bell Skills Challenge, Foot Locker Three-Point Contest, and Sprite Slam Dunk. Other events at NBA All-Star 2012 will include the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge, Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, and NBA All-Star Jam Session. Orlando also hosted NBA All-Star in 1992.

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