Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 31, 2011 11:57 AM
When Turkish Airlines signed on for five years of being the sole sponsor of Euroleague Basketball, the professional basketball league in Europe, it likely had no idea that it would (a) be getting a lot of press because current NBA players have either signed or are considering playing there this season if the NBA’s lockout continues, and (b) had no idea their name would be plastered onto one of the world’s most popular video games: NBA Jam.
SportBusiness.com reports that Euroleague Basketball has signed a licensing deal with Electronic Arts to use its players and teams in NBA Jam. This is the first time that European players and teams are featured in the game, beginning with NBA Jam: On Fire Edition, according to the EA/Euroleague press release on the partnership.
“All fans will be able to choose any of the four participating teams in the last Turkish Airlines Euroleague Final Four,” said a statement from the league. And if video-game players get bored of playing with the Carmelo Anthonys and Kevin Durants of the NBA part of the game, they can get a little dose of international flair and take control of such players as Dimitris Diamantidis, Sofoklis Schortsanitis, or Carlos Suarez.
SportsBusiness.com notes that it has been a good year for big-name sponsors in the Euroleague. Both Gatorade and Sony came on as sponsors of the 2011 Finals, while online betting center Bwin signed a three-year partnership deal last month.
In another boost for Turkish Airlines Euroleague Basketball, NBA Jam: On Fire Edition has been enhanced to reflect fans' feedback, as creative director Trey Smith notes below: