Taco Bell, the official quick-service restaurant of the NBA, announced the debut of its new NBA Five Buck Box. The box includes five Taco Bell All-Star menu items in special NBA-themed packaging, which includes images of some of the league’s biggest stars.

The Taco Bell NBA Five Buck Box integration will be promoted through television and radio ads featuring basketball Hall of Famer and Emmy Award–winning commentator Charles Barkley that will air before, during, and following the Super Bowl. In-store signage, on-air broadcast mentions, and on-site activities during NBA All-Star 2010 will also raise awareness.

Available at participating Taco Bell locations nationwide, the NBA Five Buck Box comes in two varieties. The first is the Volcano Box, including the Volcano Taco, Volcano Double Beef Burrito, Crunchy Taco, Cinnamon Twists, and a medium drink.

The second is the Cheesy Gordita Crunch Box, which features the Cheesy Gordita Crunch, Burrito Supreme, Crunchy Taco, Cinnamon Twists, and a medium drink.

“Consumers with a hunger for value now have more options with the exciting, convenient, and portable NBA-branded, big-boxed value meal,” says David Ovens, chief marketing officer for Taco Bell Corp. “By combining great NBA talent with the great flavor of Taco Bell, the NBA Five Buck Box will satisfy even the hungriest sports fans.”

Taco Bell is supporting the launch of the NBA Five Buck Box with broadcast TV and radio ads featuring Barkley. Debuting Thursday, January 28, the first set of 15-second and 30-second television ads titled “Poem” present a prim and proper “Sir Charles” in his study while contemplating a poem that best describes the NBA Five Buck Box. The first set concludes with “To be continued.”

On Sunday, February 7, during the Super Bowl, “It Rocks” makes its debut with Barkley’s complete musical rhyme and features a special appearance from Los Angeles Lakers forward Lamar Odom. The ad, created by Draftfcb Orange County in conjunction with House of Usher (production), Hatch (digital special effects), and Method Studio (special effects), will run nationally through March 7, accompanied by radio versions.

“The key was to be more than entertaining but to also deliver a clear and memorable product offering,” says Teddy Brown, executive creative director for Draftfcb Orange County.

Barkley’s presence with the Taco Bell and NBA partnership extends to a viral promotion that goes live February 28. Visitors to the chain’s Web site and YouTube channel, as well as to the Taco Bell mobile site, can find exclusive video called “5 Seconds with Sir Charles.” These six videos offer quirky thoughts from Barkley on topics including history, craftsmanship, trophies, and Taco Bell Cinnamon Twists. The videos, which will be promoted virally, are accompanied by the television ads.

“Taco Bell has a long history of engaging restaurant promotions and entertaining television commercials, and this new effort is sure to resonate with NBA fans,” says Mark Tatum, NBA executive vice president of marketing partnerships. “The NBA Five Buck Box and new advertising campaign are a great way to generate excitement for our game and is a great prelude to what you’ll see from our partnership at NBA All-Star 2010.”

Menu Innovations, News, Taco Bell