NBA All Star Game: Beverages cross over to create pop culture connection

Mindy’s Hot Chocolate Cookies at NBA All Star Game, photo provided by Levy Restaurants
Mindy’s Hot Chocolate Cookies at NBA All Star Game, photo provided by Levy Restaurants /

From the MTN DEW Zone to the new NBA and Hennessy partnership, the NBA All Star Game showed that beverages and basketball are a perfect pairing.

After the slam dunks and the moving tributes, the NBA All Star Game was more than just a basketball game. The event, and many of its sponsors, showed how food and sports are becoming even more connected. While the Super Bowl might be all about the commercials, the NBA brings a different pop culture connection.

Recently, the NBA announced a new partnership with Hennessy. With the concept, Never Stop, Never Settle, the partnership took on various rolls over the NBA All Star Weekend. It was more than just a satisfying libation after the game, it was creating a lifestyle image.

While Hennessy is the world’s best selling cognac, the connection to the NBA offers a wider reach. Just as the NBA transcends the action on the court, this partnership looks to do more.

Basketball players are more than “just athletes.” This partnership looks to celebrate everyone, whether player or fan, who pushes the game forward.

This video exemplifies that ideal.

Whether the line is crossed, moved or maybe even erases, the boundaries are always changing. For the person who may not typically enjoy a cognac or a cognac cocktail, this type of messaging could push him to move that line.

A similar situation applies to the Mountain Dew partnership. As seen with the MTN DEW Zone, the beverage brand looks to celebrate breaking boundaries. Expanding the 3-point line was only part of the activation.

By bringing MTN DEW Courtside Studios to the fans, it gives people a bigger appreciation for the sports and culture connection. Whether it is the music played or the clothes worn, the NBA is more than just high level basketball skills. It impacts lifestyle choices.

The Anthony Davis Ruffles Chip deal is part of that lifestyle imaging. Even people who might not eat a jalapeno and lime flavored potato chip would try one because of the Davis connection.

Since that partnership is still evolving, it will be interesting to see how both parties leverage it. While it doesn’t seem likely that a bag of chips will be eaten during the next time out, those special chips could make their way into a special concession stand offering.

The connection before food and sports will continue to grow. As more athletes are vocal about their favorite foods and brands see the benefit to the sports connection, the likelihood of food being integrated into the sports world will be more common. It isn’t just about the elevated concession stand offerings at a game. It will be the direct connection to a fandom that extends far beyond the playing surface.

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Did you watch or attend the NBA All Star Game or NBA All Star Weekend? What food and sports connections did you see?