American_Express_NBADecember 31 - American Express has signed a multi-year marketing agreement with the National Basketball Association (NBA) that will include supporting the United States teams' preparing for the London 2012 Olympics, where the men and women will both be defending their titles.

The partnership also extends to all of the NBA's member leagues, including the WNBA and the NBA Development League.

The deal builds on the success of existing American Express partnerships with four NBA teams - Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks, and Washington Wizards.

Under the terms of the deal, select American Express cardmembers will enjoy access to special ticket packages and access programmes throughout the year.

In addition to exclusive admission programmes for the upcoming NBA All-Star Game in 2011, the credit card issuer will serve as the presenting sponsor for the NBA All-Star Entertainment Series.

The week-long festival of music and pop culture events throughout Los Angeles will offer cardmembers the opportunity to meet and mingle with both athletes and performers.

Although American Express' relationship with the NBA will grant its cardmembers access to USA Basketball events leading up to London 2012, Visa's existing relationship with the International Olympic Committee will preclude special experiences at the Olympics themselves.

This new partnership reunites the NBA and American Express, which had a marketing partnership from 1995 to 2005.

"From the array of spectacular young talent, to the growing international market, enthusiasm and excitement with the NBA is at an all-time high," said Courtney Kelso, vice-president, Global Sponsorships Marketing, American Express.

"We're proud to be the Official Credit Card Partner of the NBA to provide our Cardmembers with access to tickets and unique experiences with the NBA, USA Basketball, WNBA and NBA D-League to enhance their passion for the game."