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NBA and IBM Introduce Expanded e-Commerce Site

NBA Partners with Category Leaders IBM and USAi's ECS Unit to Offer Fans Across the World the Most Comprehensive Collection of NBA and WNBA Merchandise

NEW YORK - 17 Apr 2000: -- The National Basketball Association (NBA) will officially launch its expanded e-commerce site, The NBA Store on NBA.com, designed and developed by IBM, on April 27. The site will provide fans with the most comprehensive assortment of exclusive NBA and WNBA apparel, non-apparel, electronic games and sporting goods in one place. Through specially designed individual team shops, fans can purchase a selection of merchandise from all 29 NBA teams and 16 WNBA teams in addition to NBA and WNBA Playoffs, Finals and All-Star products.

To celebrate the relaunch of the site, the NBA will host a star-studded fashion show titled, The "NBA.com Celebrity Fashion Show" at the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue on Thursday, April 27. The event will feature models, celebrities and NBA and WNBA athletes walking the runway and wearing basketball-inspired attire. The event will be webcast on NBA.com at 7:00 p.m. ET and broadcast on NBA.com TV with live look-ins featured on TNT.

Special features of the site include individual team shops for all NBA and WNBA teams, a personalized section called My Locker in which fans can customize their home page with their favorite team logo, track account history and order status, create an address book and accrue reward points (Slam Dunk Rewards) redeemable for special offers.

"The new site reflects the NBA's commitment to providing fans with the best interactive experience. As technology continues to offer increased possibilities, the NBA and IBM have redesigned and rebuilt the online store to create an environment that is entertaining and user friendly," said Sal LaRocca, Vice President, E-Commerce, NBA.

"The NBA Store on NBA.com is the perfect destination for every fan looking to buy team merchandise."

"For the NBA Store on NBA.com we applied our extensive e-business expertise to create an ultimate, online NBA shopping experience for fans," said Rick Singer, IBM Sports Marketing Director. "The NBA's use of the Internet to support its business initiatives is a great example of how technology can bring fans around the world closer to the game of basketball."

The site is also equipped with a gift services feature allowing fans to purchase gift certificates, as well as gift suggestions, gift reminders, gift wrap and gift registry. A common checkout to both the NBA and WNBA online stores provides an easy one-stop transaction for fans. ECS, a division of USA Networks, Inc., will be responsible for the fulfillment and customer service. In addition, new search functionality allows fans to shop by team and by collection through online concept shops (including NBA Authentics, Personalized Jerseys, 5th Avenue Collection, Hardwood Classics and Hot Picks) by category (such as Apparel, Sporting Goods and Gifts & Collectibles) and by keyword search.

IBM
IBM is a leader in helping many of the world's leading sports organizations design, develop and implement award-winning and record-breaking e-business Websites. As the Official Worldwide Information Technology Partner of the NBA and the Official Worldwide e-commerce Partner of the NBA, IBM has designed, developed, and will manage The NBA Store on NBA.com.

USA Networks, Inc. Electronic Commerce and Services
With more than twenty years of experience in electronic retailing, USA Electronic Commerce and Services offers businesses the combined expertise of Ticketmaster and the Home Shopping Network, packaged into a comprehensive suite of scalable solutions for e-tailers. ECS delivers the context, distribution verticals, merchandising, database marketing, teleservicing and online customer care, and a uniquely qualified understanding of customers' needs in the age of convergence, all supported by the media and commerce assets of USA Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: USAI). Contextualized commerce, the idea that compelling content with a compatible product, surrounded by a well-serviced fulfillment infrastructure will link products and individuals in an enduring customer relationship, is ECS' founding principle.

NBA
The NBA, headquartered in New York City, is comprised of 29 teams in the United States and Canada and is one of the world's largest providers of sports and entertainment programming. NBA.com is the NBA's official website with nearly six million impressions per day. Produced jointly by NBA Entertainment and ESPN Ventures, NBA.com features exclusive audio broadcasts of every NBA game, complete behind-the-scenes access, as well as late-breaking league news, real-time scores, statistics and shot charts, live chats with NBA players and personalities, expert analysis from NBA insiders, and exclusive Web-based shows and programs.

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Contact(s) information

Lisa Herden
IBM
(914) 765-4596
lherden@us.ibm.com

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