Spark partners with NBA, offers discount on basketball streaming

Following the recent unveiling of its ambitious ‘Boroughs’ project, which will see five high-tech basketball courts introduced in Auckland, Spark has now announced a marketing partnership with the National Basketball Association.     

As part of this deal, Spark will offer its home broadband customers NBA League Pass and League Pass Premium annual subscriptions beginning next month, giving customers 15 percent off the full price of either a full season or a one-month subscription. 

“Basketball is one of the most popular sports in New Zealand and now that our own Steven Adams is making his mark in the NBA, we expect our customers to tune-in in large numbers to watch this phenomenal competition,” said Chris Quin, chief executive of Spark home, mobile and business. 

“We’re partnering with the NBA to make sure they can watch the games wherever and whenever they want on NBA League Pass over the Spark Network and we’re offering a discount while we’re at it. This partnership is part of our broader strategy to bring our customers more of what they want by forming long-term relationships with premium international brands.”

The NBA already has a strong international presence with offices in 13 markets worldwide, games and programming in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages, and NBA merchandise for sale in more than 125,000 stores in 100 countries on 6 continents. And this move, when viewed alongside the ‘Boroughs’ project,  will serve to further consolidate the NBA’s position in this country.

“The NBA is thrilled to welcome Spark, the leading digital services provider in New Zealand to the NBA family,” said Francesco Suarez, Vice President of Global Marketing Partnerships & Events, NBA Asia, in a release. “With its world-class service offerings, Spark is the ideal partner for the NBA to provide our fans with added access to the growing selection of NBA content, including NBA League Pass, online destination Sportal.co.nz/NBA, NBA New Zealand Facebook and Twitter pages and online store NBAStore.co.nz.”

Until now, Sportal.co.nz/NBA has served as the main source of NBA news and streaming content, and this will remain unchanged by Spark’s move into the space in the sense that customers will still be required to sign in through the hub. The only difference being that users will be required to enter a Spark-provided discount code.   

For the most part, Spark’s discount deal is comparable to the telco’s Spotify or Premier League Pass promotions, which give users access to these services if certain subscription requirements are met.

These moves, particularly the Spotify and NBA deals, continue to reposition Spark as a company that isn’t, in the words of the telco’s chief operating officer Jason Paris, “old, rich and white”.   

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