Par, NBC, NBA team up

Group to create joint promo for 'Raider,' playoffs

This article was corrected on May 4, 2001.

NEW YORK — Angelina Jolie probably won’t be slam dunking over Kobe Bryant in her role as “Tomb Raider’s” Lara Croft.

But the pic’s distributor, Paramount, has engineered a singular alliance with the National Basketball Assn. and NBC to create a multimillion-dollar joint promotion to drive people to line up to see “Tomb Raider” (pic opens June 15) and turn on their TV sets to watch the NBA playoffs on NBC.

Paramount, NBC and the NBA have got together to produce two 20-second spots:

  • A promotional-sweepstakes spot, which will run on various NBC primetime and latenight shows as well as the NBA telecasts from May 5 to June 1. Spot invites viewers to log on to NBA.com to compete for prizes such as a free trip to Los Angeles for a private screening of “Tomb Raider.”

  • A tune-in spot, to run through the NBA Championship Finals in mid-June, in which clips of Lara Croft’s adventures, based on the “Tomb Raider” videogame, will be enlisted to push up the ratings of NBC’s game coverage.

“We’ll try to help Paramount get its message to the predominantly young-male viewership that watches the NBA Playoffs,” explained Ed O’Donnell, VP of marketing for NBC.

O’Donnell said that, although this season’s arrangement is the first time Paramount has ever joined forces with the NBA and a broadcast net, Par has worked with Turner Broadcasting’s TBS and TNT in previous years on an NBA tie-in for “Mission: Impossible 2” and “Deep Impact.”

As part of the new deal, the NBA plans to run “Tomb Raider” spots across all of its platforms, including the Internet, print, radio and its 24-hour digital-cable net, NBA.com TV.