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Marriott upgrades NBA partnership

Hotel group Marriott International has expanded its partnership with North American basketball league the NBA by agreeing to sponsor its Global Games event in London, England later this week.

Marriott Rewards, the company’s loyalty programme, has been named the presenting partner of the game, which pits the Orlando Magic against the Toronto Raptors. The game takes place at London’s O2 Arena on Thursday.

As part of the agreement, an NBA and Marriott Rewards-branded double-decker bus will travel across London in the days leading up to the game. Ivorian footballer Didier Drogba, formerly of English Premier League outfit Chelsea, heads a list of celebrity names set to partake in basketball-themed activities on the bus. Two competition-winners will join the celebrities for an on-court experience on the night of the game.

Up to 30 elite members of the Marriott Rewards scheme will also be offered the chance to win tickets for the game. In addition, Marriott will receive extensive advertising exposure at the event.

Marriott was in July named the official hotel of the 2015-16 NBA Global Games, the 2015 NBA Africa Game and the 2015 NBA Canada series. The announcement of Marriott Rewards as the premium partner of Thursday’s game makes the company the first to sponsor NBA events on five different continents.

Karin Timpone, global marketing officer at Marriott International, said: “Similar to what we are doing with music and entertainment, our NBA partnership also helps us communicate the depth and breadth of our portfolio and amplifies the benefits of the Marriott Rewards programme for both new and loyal guests.”