NEW YORK, April 18 – The NBA and Toyota today announced the launch of a 2006 Finals Trophy Tour to five military bases in the heartland of the U.S. The 2006 Finals Trophy Tour was developed by Toyota and the NBA, in conjunction with the USO, to thank the U.S. Armed Forces for their dedication and service.

The NBA and Toyota created a customized tour that will provide an exciting Finals-themed experience to military personnel and their families. During each stop of the 2006 Trophy Tour, the NBA and Toyota will bring a fleet of Finals-themed vehicles including the specially designed Toyota Tundra “Trophy Mobile,” the Larry O’Brien Trophy, an interactive NBA-themed activity center, and NBA players or legends.

Scottie Pippen and Walt "Clyde" Frazier tour with the trophy in New York on Tuesday.
Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty Images
“The NBA is proud to partner with Toyota and the USO on executing the 2006 Finals Trophy Tour as a way to thank and honor our military personnel and their families for the service they provide to our country,” said Heidi Ueberroth, Executive Vice President Global Media Properties and Marketing Partnerships for the NBA. “Toyota and the NBA focus on creating memorable experiences for NBA fans through unique vehicles and basketball interaction, so we are pleased to deliver the NBA experience and the Larry O’Brien Trophy to five military bases.”

Tour stops by
the NBA Store:
“Our military men and women face some of life’s most difficult situations in service to our country,” said Don Esmond, Toyota’s Senior Vice President and also a Marine Corps helicopter pilot in Vietnam, where he earned a Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart. “We appreciate their dedication and commitment, and we’re glad we can help bring some fun and excitement to everyone at these five bases through the NBA experience.”

“The USO is pleased to support the NBA and Toyota in bringing the 2006 Finals Trophy Tour to military bases in the United States,” said John Hanson, USO Senior Vice President for Marketing and Communications. “The NBA has a long history of support for service members, and NBA players and Legends participated on the USO’s first tour to Baghdad in 2003. We look forward to a continuing partnership with the NBA.”

The 2006 Trophy Tour is among the many ways that Toyota and the NBA have built upon their marketing partnership to find innovative ways to showcase Toyota vehicles and bring the NBA experience to a diverse group of fans and communities. Toyota participates in several marquee NBA events including NBA All-Star, the NBA Playoffs, the NBA Draft, Rhythm ‘n Rims, and the acclaimed series “Toyota's Moving Forward Moments” on NBA TV, which has featured NBA stars Amare Stoudemire, Elton Brand, and others.

Military Trophy Tour Dates:

Offutt Air Force Base
Location: Offutt, Nebraska
Date: May 13

Fort Leavenworth
Location: Leavenworth, Kansas (located on KS/MO border)
Date: May 19

Fort Bliss
Location: El Paso, Texas
Date: June 1

Fort Riley
Location: Fort Riley North, Kansas
Date: June 24

Fort Carson
Location: Fort Carson, Colorado
Date: July 3