Nickelodeon Announces First-Ever Partnership with WNBA

News Release | July 25, 2005
New York, NY – Nickelodeon is aligning its “Let’s Just Play” initiative, which encourages healthy and active lifestyles for kids and local communities, with the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in a first-ever partnership. The brands’ alliance includes a Nickelodeon sponsorship of the WNBA’s Be Fit Tour, part of the league’s Be Smart-Be Fit-Be Yourself national fitness initiative. The deal also includes a significant Nick presence at WNBA games featuring “Let’s Just Play” stretch breaks, in-arena Public Service Announcements (PSA), specialty prize packages and WNBA tagged “Let’s Just Play” on-air spots.

“The WNBA has a stellar reputation among sports leagues for its commitment to inspire kids and young adults to live healthier lives through sports and other initiatives. Pairing our ‘Let’s Just Play’ program with the WNBA was a natural fit,” said Jean Margaret Smith, Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Public Affairs. “With ‘Let’s Just Play’s’ reach to kids in local communities, the WNBA’s Be Fit Tour and games that Nickelodeon will participate in throughout the rest of the season, this partnership will further extend messages of encouraging healthy and active lifestyles for kids and families.”

Throughout the remainder of July and August, Nickelodeon will serve as a promotional partner of the 2005 WNBA Be Fit Tour. The Be Fit Tour takes the WNBA’s Be Smart-Be-Fit-Be Yourself program, which was created to emphasize the importance of health and fitness for women and young people, on the road. During each Tour stop, Nickelodeon’s “Let’s Just Play” will sponsor an activity booth and an interactive obstacle course which will be conducted twice during each Tour day. “Let’s Just Play” prizes and educational materials will also be provided at each Tour stop.

“The WNBA delivers family-friendly entertainment both in arena, on TV and throughout local communities, so teaming up with Nickelodeon, the leading kid’s entertainment network, makes perfect sense,” said Mary Reiling Spencer, Vice President, WNBA Marketing Partnerships. “Nickelodeon’s ‘Let’s Just Play’ and the WNBA’s Be Smart-Be Fit-Be Yourself programs were created in the same spirit and aim to encourage young people to get out and be active. For that reason, we are very pleased that by joining forces, we’ll be bringing that message to a broad, national audience.”

Nickelodeon has also partnered with the WNBA to help promote WNBA Kids Week, which runs through Sunday, July 31. The network will promote the week’s activities on all of its websites (www.everythingnick.com; www.nick.com and www.nickjr.com) to help bring the unique WNBA experience to young people and families across the country. A “Let’s Just Play” spot entitled What Play Does with a five-second on-air tag that promotes the WNBA’s Be Smart-Be-Fit-Be Yourself campaign will also run on Nick’s air beginning now through October 1, 2005.

In addition, Nickelodeon will have a presence at key WNBA games. Each WNBA Team will promote the “Let’s Just Play” initiative during at least two home games. This includes broadcasting a 60-second “Let’s Just Play” PSA on the JumboTron and “Let’s Just Play” halftime stretch breaks, featuring activities and exercise movements to get the body moving, and lead by Nick characters, WNBA Team mascots and/or cheerleaders. Nick-themed prize packages including SpongeBob SquarePants mini-basketballs, tee shirts, Boom Boxes and DVDs, Dora the Explorer playground balls, and “Let’s Just Play” wristbands, headbands, notebooks and Frisbees will be also given away. Characters such as SpongeBob SquarePants or Dora the Explorer will also make appearances at select games.