NBA playoffs dig Kravitz tune

Song to dominate soundtrack of series of 30-sec spots

The National Basketball Assn. has engineered a deal with Virgin Records that will make Lenny Kravitz’s hit record “Dig In” the league’s anthem for the NBA playoff telecasts on NBC, TNT and TBS, which kick off later this month.

The song will dominate the soundtrack of a series of 30-second spots produced by the NBA Entertainment Advertising Group, which will incorporate scenes from the Kravitz musicvideo interspersed with highlight films of star players making spectacular plays.

Gregg Winik, executive VP of NBA Entertainment, said that as teams advance deeper into the playoffs the “Dig In” spots will feature players whose teams are still alive.

Winik declined to discuss financial arrangements, but industry sources say no cash changes hands in the deal. Instead, the parties regard the transaction as a barter deal that’s mutually beneficial: Virgin Records gets millions of dollars worth of free publicity for Kravitz’s album and tour and the NBA burnishes its image with young male viewers.

The Kravitz song is the third in the NBA’s seasonlong promotional campaign called “Love It Live.” The two earlier 30-second musical spots featured Pink’s “Let’s Get the Party Started” and No Doubt’s “Hey Baby.”

In other NBA Entertainment news, Winik said the league is getting behind the July theatrical release of 20th Century Fox’s family movie “Like Mike,” starring Li’l Bow Wow as a kid who discovers a magical pair of sneakers worn by Michael Jordan. The NBA is also in script development on a comedy-drama pilot that would be co-produced by Touchstone TV and Columbia TriStar TV.

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