RealTime IT News

Lenovo Scores NBA Deal

Building on its sponsorship of the Olympics, Lenovo will trumpet another sports marketing link when it announces a major deal with the National Basketball Association.

The multi-year global marketing partnership is scheduled to be made official at an event in New York on Monday at the NBA Store, according to a Lenovo press release obtained by internetnews.com ahead of time.

Under the deal, Lenovo becomes the "official PC Partner of the NBA," with marketing rights in the U.S. and China, where Lenovo is based. The NBA plans to integrate Lenovo products into all facets of league operations, according to the release.

An NBA public relations official declined to comment on news ahead of the official announcement, except to say some of the details in the release might change by Monday.

One expected aspect of the agreement is the introduction of a new "Lenovo Stat" during games designed to identify the best NBA teammates.

The Lenovo Stat will be a plus/minus statistic that will look at the point differential when a player or combination of players is in the game, to see what effect they have on the team as a whole. The statistic will identify the best individual through five player combinations for each game, and over the course of an entire season.

However, it's not clear whether the Lenovo Stat will appear during broadcast games; the release said it will be featured on NBA.com and on NBA TV at the end of each game.

Certain NBA coaches will also have access to a new tool for the Lenovo computers that the company said will "revolutionize the coaching process."

Lenovo personal computers will be featured courtside at the Official Scorer's Table and will record more than 250,000 points, 130,000 rebounds and more than 50,000 assists each season.

NBA statisticians will be getting Lenovo touch screen laptops to record more than 650,000 statistical events per season in real time to NBA.com, the league's 30 team Web sites, NBA TV and thousands of media around the world. NBA referees will also utilize Lenovo personal computers to review video of their calls at halftime, post-game and while traveling between games.

"Lenovo hasn't had a lot of consumer visibility, so you can see sports marketing as offsetting their lack of presence in retail, and the NBA season gives them something to build on," said Roger Kay, analyst with Endpoint Technologies.

"They have the Olympics, but that has a limited time frame.