Bing to sponsor Storm, complete news conference

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by Joel Knip

NWCN.com

Posted on April 21, 2010 at 5:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 22 at 7:36 AM

The Storm sent out the following news release about a new partnership with Bing. Check it out below. You can also see the attached video clip is from today's news conference.

The Seattle Storm and the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) today announced a multiyear marquee partnership with Bing, the decision engine from Microsoft Corp. As part of the innovative alliance, Bing will receive predominant placement on Storm jerseys, become the official decision engine of the Storm, and be deeply integrated into Storm marketing and promotional materials. In addition, Bing will become the presenting sponsor of the Jr. Storm youth basketball initiative and share the Storm with its hometown by giving away tickets to Jr. Storm participants throughout the 2010 season.

"We are thrilled to be joining forces with a partner the caliber of Bing," said Karen Bryant, president and CEO of the Seattle Storm. "This innovative partnership goes well beyond the court for both the Storm and Bing. We are leading organizations in our respective fields, and we are honored to align our missions for the advancement of the Seattle community, the WNBA and women’s basketball as a whole."

The Bing name and logo will appear on the front of the Storm’s home and visitor player jerseys and shooting shirts in all regular season games, reaching Storm fans at games and other consumers via national and local media coverage. The partnership also includes in-arena signage, a feature on Arena Vision, integration as the official decision engine of stormbasketball.com, and team social media and e-marketing efforts. The Storm will debut its new uniforms when the team takes the court for the season opener of its 11th season on Sunday, May 2, at 2 p.m. PDT against the Phoenix Mercury.

At the heart of the partnership is a commitment from the Seattle Storm and Bing to collaborate on community outreach. The Storm and Bing will tip off the 2010 Jr. Storm program with the first in a series of youth basketball clinics being held at King County Boys & Girls Clubs. On Friday, May 7, the Rainer Vista Boys and Girls Club will be the site for the first official stop on the Jr. Storm Tour. Youth between the grades of kindergarten and sixth grade are encouraged to participate in this special basketball skills clinic. Additional Jr. Storm Tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks.

"The Seattle Storm is a major sports franchise in a major market, and we are thrilled to join with them and invest in our hometown," said Danielle Tiedt, general manager of Marketing for Bing at Microsoft. "Bing shares in the passion and dedication that the Storm organization has for the Seattle community and this partnership helps Bing reach the Storm’s dedicated fan base in a unique way."

"We are proud to welcome Bing and Microsoft as the third major marquee partner to the Women’s National Basketball Association," said WNBA President Donna Orender. "Adding these prominent brands is an indication of the league’s continued growth on the global sports landscape. Bing also shares our focus toward improving and inspiring communities."

The Storm audience reaches a highly valued demographic with fans who demonstrate an affinity for using products from sponsoring companies and considering sponsoring companies as leaders in their industry. The Storm partnership enables Bing to reach audience segments who already demonstrate favorability for Bing. For example, mothers comprise nearly 20 percent of Bing users and the youth audience has grown 25 percent since the Bing launch.

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