MSC Cruises announced a multi-year partnership with Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. Tuesday, under which the company becomes the official cruise line partner of the National Basketball Association (NBA)’s New York Knicks.
Via the pact, MSC Cruises will receive significant brand promotion during Knicks games at “The World’s Greatest Arena,” including billboard LED and virtual on-court signage. MSC Cruises will also serve as presenting partner in the Knicks in-game t-shirt toss.
MSC is the Knicks’ first global rights marketing partner, said company officials. Madison Square Garden Sports Corp. will work with MSC Cruises to “create new activations in overseas markets, which could include Italy, Germany, England and Brazil,” said officials in a statement.
The partners will also “work together to provide unique content and brand promotion to continue growing the game of basketball.”
MSC will base 4,500-passenger MSC Meraviglia at New York’s Brooklyn Cruise Terminal beginning in April for year-around itineraries visiting the Caribbean, Bermuda, New England and Canada. The Brooklyn homeporting is part of the fast-expanding company’s first year-round deployment in the northeastern United States.
“Our partnership with MSG and the New York Knicks is symbolic of our overall commitment to New York City with the upcoming launch of year-round cruises from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal onboard MSC Meraviglia,” said Rubén A. Rodríguez, MSC Cruises USA’s president.
“At MSC Cruises, we’re focused on improving the communities we serve by supporting families and furthering sustainability efforts,” Rodríguez said. “MSG and the Knicks share those priorities.”
As part of their agreement, the Knicks and MSC Cruises will partner on a sustainability initiative to donate to an ocean conservation cause for every made three-point shot by a Knicks player this season. In addition, the Knicks’ GardenVision and Knicks Digital Channels will broadcast features about the program, including updates on the current total donations.
This spring, the Knicks will host a “Jr. Knicks” clinic on MSC Meraviglia’s basketball court during the ship’s inaugural call at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Clinic participants will meet with Knicks alumni and take part in basketball drills, skills and training, plus games conducted by the Jr. Knicks coaching staff.
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